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  • 1.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    University of Leon, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas y Ambientales, Spain.
    Mejora y evolución de los protocolos de congelación de eyaculados de oso pardo (Ursus arctos)2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [es]

    La situación crítica del oso pardo (Ursus arctos) en España plantea la necesidad de aplicar diferentes estrategias de conservación, dentro de las cuales tiene especial relevancia la creación de un banco de recursos genéticos. La eficacia de esta herramienta depende, entre otros factores, de la adaptación específica de los protocolos de congelación espermática ya existentes y que permitan el almacenamiento eficaz de los espermatozoides del oso pardo en un banco de germoplasma. Este trabajo nos permite concluir la utilidad de la selección entre ciclos con el fin de mejorar la calidad de los espermatozoides sometidos a recongelación

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  • 2.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Alvarez, M.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Anel-Lopez, L.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Guerra, C.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Chamorro, C. A.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Anel, L.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    de Paz, P.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Martinez-Pastor, F.
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Effect of length of time post-mortem on quality and freezing capacity of Cantabric chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica parva) epididymal spermatozoa2018In: Animal Reproduction Science, ISSN 0378-4320, E-ISSN 1873-2232, Vol. 198, p. 184-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Genome Resource Banks are keystones in the ex-situ conservation of wild species. Post-mortem (PM) collection of epididymal spermatozoa is an opportunistic and valuable source of germplasm, the time from the death of the animal limits its use. Seeking to improve germplasm preservation strategies for the chamois (Rupicapra sp.), the effect of PM time on epididymal sperm quality and freezability was studied using the Cantabrian chamois. Samples were classified according to PM collection time, up to 216 h (refrigerated), and cryopreserved (Tris-citric acid-fructose, 430 mOsm/kg, 15% egg yolk, 8% glycerol; freezing at - 20 degrees C/min). Sperm quality was assessed after recovery and post-thawing (motility by CASA, HOS test, abnormal forms, cytoplasmic droplets, and viability and acrosomal damage by flow cytometry). The sperm mass pH and osmolality showed a positive correlation with time. Total sperm motility dropped after 2 days PM, with progressivity and sperm velocities remained similar up to 3 days PM. Sperm freezability was acceptable, with the post-thawing HOST, motility, progressivity, VAP, VCL, VSL and BCF negatively correlating with PM time. Overall, chamois epidydimal samples were not adequate for preservation after 6 days PM. Freezability capacity could make these spermatozoa suitable for specific ART even if kept refrigerated for several days PM.

  • 3.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez, M.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Anel-Lopez, L.
    SaBio IREC CSIC UCLM JCCM, Spain.
    Lopez-Uruena, E.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Manrique, P.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Borragan, S.
    Cabarceno Pk, Spain.
    Morrell, J. M.
    Swedish University of Agriculture Science SLU, Sweden.
    de Paz, P.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Anel, L.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Effect of colloid (Androcoll-Bear, Percoll, and PureSperm) selection on the freezability of brown bear (Ursus arctos) sperm2016In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 85, no 6, p. 1097-1105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The development of a species-specific conservation protocol that involves artificial insemination with frozen semen needs to validate an effective methodology for freezing semen. Colloid centrifugation has been suggested and widely applied as an effective tool for selecting animal spermatozoa for artificial breeding. The objective of the present study was to compare different methods of centrifugation, single layer using Androcoll-Bear and Percoll and double layer using PureSperm 100 (in two different discontinuous gradients 40%-80% and 45%-90%), for the selection of fresh brown bear sperm samples. In the before freezing group, all selected samples showed a higher progressive motility and viability (except Percoll for motility 43.0 +/- 5.3 [P < 0.051); all colloids except PureSperm 45/90% rendered samples with fewer damaged acrosomes. In the after thawing group, all tested centrifugation colloids showed a good capacity to decrease the number of damaged acrosomes. Furthermore, PureSperm treatment (45/90%) resulted in an increase in apoptotic-like changes not only immediately after thawing but also after the incubation test, leading us to suggest that this gradient could induce some kind of deleterious effects on the sperm samples. On the other hand, PureSperm treatment (40/80%) yielded a quality preservation capacity similar to Androcoll-Bear in number of damaged acrosomes, different relative to the control (control, 5.3 +/- 0.6; PureSperm 80, 2.0 +/- 0.3; Androcoll, 2.1 +/- 0.9 [P < 0.051) but a decrease in the number of viable spermatozoa recovered after thawing relative to the control (control, 21.2 +/- 3.1; PureSperm 80, 13.7 +/- 2.7 [P < 0.051). In conclusion, Androcoll-Bear constitutes a useful tool for handling of brown bear ejaculates owing to its simple handling and procedure with a reliable sperm selection and freezability. This colloid yielded an improvement in several sperm parameters in brown bear frozen-thawed semen; the selected spermatozoa of fresh samples with this colloid showed a better resistance to freezing compared with the control sample not only for motility but also for viability. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 4.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Gomes-Alves, S
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Borragan, Santiago
    Cabárceno Park, Cantabria, Spain.
    Martinez-Pastor, Felipe
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    de Paz, Paulino
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Quality of frozen-thawed semen in brown bear is not affected by timing of glycerol addition.2011In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 75, no 8, p. 1561-1565Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have tested several freezing protocols for brown bear semen, modifying the time when glycerol was added (before and after cooling to 5 °C). No differences were found among protocols, indicating a good tolerance of brown bear semen to glycerol. This finding indicates that freezing protocols for brown bear semen could be modified to fit practical solutions which would facilitate preparation of the seminal samples in the field with the addition of glycerol at ambient temperature.

  • 5.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Atikuzzaman, Mohammad
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Department of Surgery and Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
    Venhoranta, Heli
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Helsinki, Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Saari, Finland.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Expression of Immune Regulatory Genes in the Porcine Internal Genital Tract Is Differentially Triggered by Spermatozoa and Seminal Plasma2019In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 20, no 3, article id 513Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mating or cervical deposition of spermatozoa or seminal plasma (SP) modifies the expression of genes affecting local immune defense processes at the oviductal sperm reservoir in animals with internal fertilization, frequently by down-regulation. Such responses may occur alongside sperm transport to or even beyond the reservoir. Here, immune-related gene expression was explored with cDNA microarrays on porcine cervix-to-infundibulum tissues, pre-/peri-ovulation. Samples were collected 24 h post-mating or cervical deposition of sperm-peak spermatozoa or SP (from the sperm-peak fraction or the whole ejaculate). All treatments of this interventional study affected gene expression. The concerted action of spermatozoa and SP down-regulated chemokine and cytokine (P00031), interferon-gamma signaling (P00035), and JAK/STAT (P00038) pathways in segments up to the sperm reservoir (utero-tubal junction (UTJ)/isthmus). Spermatozoa in the vanguard sperm-peak fraction (P1-AI), uniquely displayed an up-regulatory effect on these pathways in the ampulla and infundibulum. Sperm-free SP, on the other hand, did not lead to major effects on gene expression, despite the clinical notion that SP mitigates reactivity by the female immune system after mating or artificial insemination.

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  • 6.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Ljunggren, Stefan
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Heart and Medicine Center, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center.
    Karlsson, Helen
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Heart and Medicine Center, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Exosomes in specific fractions of the boar ejaculate contain CD44: A marker for epididymosomes?2019In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 140, p. 143-152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seminal plasma (SP) is a complex fluid containing proteins, peptides, enzymes, hormones as well as extracellular vesicles (EVs). The SP interacts with spermatozoa and the inner cell lining of the female genital tract, adsorbing proteins and exosomes that modulate sperm functions and female immune responsiveness. In the present study, boar sperm-free SP was studied using flow cytometry (FC) after membrane tetraspanins (CD9, CD63 and CD81) and membrane receptor CD44 marking of non-enriched (whole SP) or gradient fractions enriched through two-step discontinuous KBr-density-gradient ultracentrifugation, in whole ejaculate or in selected ejaculate fractions. The results, evaluated by transmission electron microscopy, confirmed the presence of exosomes in all fractions of the pig SP. Noteworthy, these pig SP-exosomes were CD44-bearing when analysed by FC, with bands detected by western blotting (WB) at the expected 85 kD size. The two-step discontinuous KBr-density-gradient ultracentrifugation enriched the population of exosomes in two specific gradient fractions, indicating exosomes (either prostasomes or epididymosomes) could be separated from low-density lipoprotein (LDL) but they co-sediment with the high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-bearing fraction. The findings pave for the selective isolation of exosomes in functional studies of their function when interacting with spermatozoa, the oocyte and/or the female genitalia, including hyaluronan-CD44 interplay. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • 7.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    The risk of using monoclonal or polyclonal commercial antibodies: controversial results on porcine sperm CD44 receptor identification2019In: Reproduction in domestic animals, ISSN 0936-6768, E-ISSN 1439-0531, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 733-737Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Presence of the hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid, HA) receptor CD44 on spermatozoa has been difficult to pursue, mostly obeying to the use of different commercial mono- and/or polyclonal antibodies, often lacking proper controls. Here, we describe how the presence (Western blotting) and specific location (immunocytochemistry) of the CD44 receptor differs in ejaculated pig spermatozoa depending on the type of antibody and protocol used. While we were able to detect binding to spermatozoa and mark its presence in the sperm membrane, the use of blocking peptides clearly indicated that only the monoclonal antibody could confirm the specific presence and location of the CD44 receptor, whereas the polyclonal antibody was detecting multiple presumed CD44 isoforms or degraded proteins thus proving unspecific. These results call for strict protocols when attempting immunological determination of sperm membrane receptors.

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  • 8.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Martinez, Cristina A.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Does the Act of Copulation per se, without Considering Seminal Deposition, Change the Expression of Genes in the Porcine Female Genital Tract?2020In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 21, no 15, article id 5477Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Semen-through its specific sperm and seminal plasma (SP) constituents-induces changes of gene expression in the internal genital tract of pigs, particularly in the functional sperm reservoir at the utero-tubal junction (UTJ). Although seminal effects are similarly elicited by artificial insemination (AI), major changes in gene expression are registered after natural mating, a fact suggesting the act of copulation induces per se changes in genes that AI does not affect. The present study explored which pathways were solely influenced by copulation, affecting the differential expression of genes (DEGs) of the pre/peri-ovulatory genital tract (cervix, distal uterus, proximal uterus and UTJ) of estrus sows, 24 h after various procedures were performed to compare natural mating with AI of semen (control 1), sperm-free SP harvested from the sperm-peak fraction (control 2), sperm-free SP harvested from the whole ejaculate (control 3) or saline-extender BTS (control 4), using a microarray chip (GeneChip(R)porcine gene 1.0 st array). Genes related to neuroendocrine responses (ADRA1,ADRA2,GABRB2,CACNB2), smooth muscle contractility (WNT7A), angiogenesis and vascular remodeling (poFUT1,NTN4) were, among others, overrepresented with distal and proximal uterine segments exhibiting the highest number of DEGs. The findings provide novel evidence that relevant transcriptomic changes in the porcine female reproductive tract occur in direct response to the specific act of copulation, being semen-independent.

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  • 9.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Spanish Natl Inst Agr & Food Res & Technol INIA CS, Spain.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Spanish Natl Inst Agr & Food Res & Technol INIA CS, Spain.
    Gardela, Jaume
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ctr Recerca Sanitat Anim CReSA, Spain.
    Nieto, Helena
    Spanish Natl Inst Agr & Food Res & Technol INIA CS, Spain.
    de Mercado, Eduardo
    Spanish Natl Inst Agr & Food Res & Technol INIA CS, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    MicroRNA expression in specific segments of the pig periovulatory internal genital tract is differentially regulated by semen or by seminal plasma2024In: Research in Veterinary Science, ISSN 0034-5288, E-ISSN 1532-2661, Vol. 168, article id 105134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    microRNAs play pivotal roles during mammalian reproduction, including the cross-talk between gametes, embryos and the maternal genital tract. Mating induces changes in the expression of mRNA transcripts in the female, but whether miRNAs are involved remains to be elucidated. In the current study, we mapped 181 miRNAs in the porcine peri-ovulatory female reproductive tract: Cervix (Cvx), distal and proximal uterus (Dist-Ut, ProxUt), Utero-tubal-junction (UTJ), isthmus (Isth), ampulla (Amp), and infundibulum (Inf) when exposed to semen (natural mating (NM) or artificial insemination (AI-P1)) or to infusions of sperm-free seminal plasma (SP): the first 10 mL of the sperm rich fraction (SP-P1) or the entire ejaculate (SP-E). Among the most interesting findings, NM decreased mir-671, implicated in uterine development and pregnancy loss prior to embryo implantation, in Cvx, Dist-UT, Prox-UT, Isth, and Inf, while it increased in Amp. NM and SP-E induced the downregulation of miRlet7A-1 (Dist-UT, Prox-UT), a regulator of immunity during pregnancy. miR-34C-1, a regulator of endometrial receptivity gene expression, was increased in Dist-UT, UTJ and Amp (NM), in Prox-UT (AI-P1), and in Amp (SPP1). miR-296, a modulator of the inflammatory response and apoptosis, was upregulated in the UTJ (all treatments). NM elicited the highest miRNA activity in the sperm reservoir (UTJ), suggesting that key-regulators such as miR-34c or miR-296 may modulate the metabolic processes linked to the adequate preparation for gamete encounter in the oviduct. Our results suggest that SP should be maintained in AI to warrant miRNA regulation within the female genital tract for reproductive success.

  • 10.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Roca, Jordi
    Univ Murcia, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    mRNA expression of oxidative-reductive proteins in boars with documented different fertility can identify relevant prognostic biomarkers2021In: Research in Veterinary Science, ISSN 0034-5288, E-ISSN 1532-2661, Vol. 141, p. 195-202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Oxidative stress unbalance is a major factor causing impairment of sperm function and, ultimately, sperm death. In this study, we identified transcriptomic and proteomic markers for oxidative-related protectors from the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in spermatozoa from breeding boars with documented high- or lowfertility. Particular attention was paid to glutathione peroxidases, and to transcripts related to DNA stabilization and compaction, as protamine and transition proteins. mRNA cargo analysis was performed using porcinespecific micro-arrays (GeneChip (R) miRNA 4.0 and GeneChip (R) Porcine Gene 1.0 ST) and qPCR validation. Differences between fertility-classed boars were ample among biomarkers; some upregulated only at protein level (catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and glutathione proteins), or only at the mRNA level (ATOX1, Antioxidant Protein 1). In addition, protamines 2 and 3, essential for sperm DNA condensation and also transition proteins 1 and 2 (TNP1 and TNP2), required during histone-to-protamine replacement, were overexpressed in spermatozoa from high-fertile boars. This up-regulation seems concerted to reduce DNA accessibility to ROS attack, protecting the DNA. The upregulated intracellular phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (GPx4), in high-fertile boars at mRNA level, can be considered a most relevant biomarker for fertility disclosure during sperm evaluation.

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  • 11.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Martinez-Pastor, Felipe
    Univ Leon, Spain.
    Molecular Determinants of Seminal Plasma on Sperm Biology and Fertility2021In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 22, no 7, article id 3555Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    n/a

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  • 12.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Martinez-Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Barranco, Isabel
    Univ Girona, Spain.
    Roca, Jordi
    Univ Murcia, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    The Transcriptome of Pig Spermatozoa, and Its Role in Fertility2020In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, Vol. 21, no 5, article id 1572Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the study presented here we identified transcriptomic markers for fertility in the cargo of pig ejaculated spermatozoa using porcine-specific micro-arrays (GeneChip((R)) miRNA 4.0 and GeneChip((R)) Porcine Gene 1.0 ST). We report (i) the relative abundance of the ssc-miR-1285, miR-16, miR-4332, miR-92a, miR-671-5p, miR-4334-5p, miR-425-5p, miR-191, miR-92b-5p and miR-15b miRNAs, and (ii) the presence of 347 up-regulated and 174 down-regulated RNA transcripts in high-fertility breeding boars, based on differences of farrowing rate (FS) and litter size (LS), relative to low-fertility boars in the (Artificial Insemination) AI program. An overrepresentation analysis of the protein class (PANTHER) identified significant fold-increases for C-C chemokine binding (GO:0019957): CCR7, which activates B- and T-lymphocytes, 8-fold increase), XCR1 and CXCR4 (with ubiquitin as a natural ligand, 1.24-fold increase), cytokine receptor activity (GO:0005126): IL23R receptor of the IL23 protein, associated to JAK2 and STAT3, 3.4-fold increase), the TGF-receptor (PC00035) genes ACVR1C and ACVR2B (12-fold increase). Moreover, two micro-RNAs (miR-221 and mir-621) were down- and up-regulated, respectively, in high-fertility males. In conclusion, boars with different fertility performance possess a wide variety of differentially expressed RNA present in spermatozoa that would be attractive targets as non-invasive molecular markers for predicting fertility.

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  • 13.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Ntzouni, Maria
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Core Facility.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Khan, Kabirul Islam
    Chattogram Vet and Anim Sci Univ, Bangladesh.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Martinez-Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Chicken seminal fluid lacks CD9-and CD44-bearing extracellular vesicles2020In: Reproduction in domestic animals, ISSN 0936-6768, E-ISSN 1439-0531, Vol. 55, no 3, p. 293-300Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The avian seminal fluid (SF) is a protein-rich fluid, derived from the testis, the rudimentary epididymis and, finally, from the cloacal gland. The SF interacts with spermatozoa and the inner cell lining of the female genital tract, to modulate sperm functions and female immune responsiveness. Its complex proteome might either be free or linked to extracellular vesicles (EVs) as it is the case in mammals, where EVs depict the tetraspanin CD9; and where those EVs derived from the epididymis (epididymosomes) also present the receptor CD44. In the present study, sperm-free SF from Red Jungle Fowl, White Leghorn and an advanced intercross (AIL, 12th generation) were studied using flow cytometry of the membrane marker tetraspanin CD9, Western blotting of the membrane receptor CD44 and electron microscopy in non-enriched (whole SF) or enriched fractions obtained by precipitation using a commercial kit (Total Exosome Precipitation Solution). Neither CD9- nor CD44 could be detected, and the ultrastructure confirmed the relative absence of EVs, raising the possibility that avian SF interacts differently with the female genitalia as compared to the seminal plasma of mammals.

  • 14.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. CSIC, Spain.
    Roca, Jordi
    Univ Murcia, Spain.
    Martinez, Emilio A.
    Univ Murcia, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Mating modifies the expression of crucial oxidative-reductive transcripts in the pig oviductal sperm reservoir: is the female ensuring sperm survival?2023In: Frontiers in Endocrinology, E-ISSN 1664-2392, Vol. 14, article id 1042176Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BackgroundMating induces large changes in the female genital tract, warranting female homeostasis and immune preparation for pregnancy, including the preservation of crucial oxidative status among its pathways. Being highly susceptible to oxidative stress, sperm survival and preserved function depend on the seminal plasma, a protection that is removed during sperm handling but also after mating when spermatozoa enter the oviduct. Therefore, it is pertinent to consider that the female sperm reservoir takes up this protection, providing a suitable environment for sperm viability. These aspects have not been explored despite the increasing strategies in modulating the female status through diet control and nutritional supplementation. AimsTo test the hypothesis that mating modifies the expression of crucial oxidative-reductive transcripts across the entire pig female genital tract (cervix to infundibulum) and, particularly in the sperm reservoir at the utero-tubal junction, before ovulation, a period dominated by estrogen stimulation of ovarian as well as of seminal origin. MethodsThe differential expression of estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptors and of 59 oxidative-reductive transcripts were studied using a species-specific microarray platform, in specific segments of the peri-ovulatory sow reproductive tract in response to mating. ResultsMating induced changes along the entire tract, with a conspicuous downregulation of both ER and PR and an upregulation of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), glutaredoxin (GLRX3), and peroxiredoxin 1 and 3 (PRDX1, PRDX3), among other NADH Dehydrogenase Ubiquinone Flavoproteins, in the distal uterus segment. These changes perhaps helped prevent oxidative stress in the area adjacent to the sperm reservoir at the utero-tubal junction. Concomitantly, there were a downregulation of catalase (CAT) and NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) oxidoreductases 1 beta subcomplex, subunit 1 (NDUFB1) in the utero-tubal junction alongside an overall downregulation of CAT, SOD1, and PRDX3 in the ampullar and infundibulum segments. ConclusionsNatural mating is an inducer of changes in the expression of female genes commanding antioxidant enzymes relevant for sperm survival during sperm transport, under predominant estrogen influence through the bloodstream and semen. The findings could contribute to the design of new therapeutics for the female to improve oxidative-reductive balance.

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  • 15.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Vicente Carrillo, Alejandro
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Evidensia Valla Djursjukhus Linkoping, Linkoping, Sweden.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Hyaluronan improves neither the long-term storage nor the cryosurvival of liquid-stored CD44-bearing Al boar spermatozoa2018In: Journal of reproduction and development, ISSN 0916-8818, E-ISSN 1348-4400, Vol. 64, no 4, p. 351-360Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid, HA) apparently improves sperm survival in vitro and in vivo (oviduct), maintaining sperm motility and inducing capacitation, but not acrosome exocytosis, either by direct action as a macromolecule or via CD44 membrane receptors. This study explored ejaculated, liquid-extended pig spermatozoa to ascertain (i) the presence (Western blotting) and specific location (immunocytochemistry) of the CD44 receptor, using a specific monoclonal commercial antibody; (ii) whether the CD44 receptor changed location when exposed to bicarbonate, a capacitating trigger, in vitro; and (iii) whether the addition of HA, of molecular size comparable to that produced in the oviduct sperm reservoir (0.0625 to 2.0 mg/ml; 0 HA: control), to semen extenders would improve sperm liquid storage in vitro or cryosurvival post freezing. Variables tested were sperm velocity and progressive motility (Qualisperm (TM)), sperm viability and acrosome status, membrane integrity and early destabilization, mitochondrial activation, and superoxide production (flow cytometry). The CD44 receptor presence in ejaculated, liquid-stored AI boar spermatozoa, as confirmed by a porcine-specific monoclonal antibody, maintained its membrane location under in vitro capacitation-inducing conditions. HA exposure to 24-, 48-, or 72-h liquid-stored (17-20 degrees C) spermatozoa lowered sperm velocity in membrane-intact spermatozoa, but increased mitochondrial superoxide production. Finally, HA addition during cooling did not improve cryosurvival but did increase mitochondrial activation and membrane destabilization in surviving cells. These results confirm the existence of a CD44 receptor in pig spermatozoa, but the usefulness of adding HA for long-term storage or cryopreservation of liquid-stored, extended boar semen remains in question, thereby warranting further non-empirical analyses of HA-sperm membrane interactions.

  • 16.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Vicente-Carrillo, Alejandro
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Exogenous Individual Lecithin-Phospholipids (Phosphatidylcholine and Phosphatidylglycerol) Cannot Prevent the Oxidative Stress Imposed by Cryopreservation of Boar Sperm.2017In: Journal of veterinary medicine and surgery, ISSN 2574-2868, Vol. 1, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Despite the use of high proportions of the chemically undefined lipoprotein/phospholipid-rich egg-yolk in extenders, boar sperm are highly sensitive to cooling, which induces ROS generation and disrupts the plasma membrane.

    Here, we studied whether replacement of hen egg-yolk by commercially defined lecithin phospholipids, derived from egg (LPGE: phosphatidyl glycerol, LPCE: phosphatidyl choline) or soybean (LPCS: phosphatidyl choline), could individually ameliorate such oxidative effects during cryopreservation of ejaculated (sperm rich fraction, SRF) or of cauda-epididymal sperm, retrieved post-mortem from the same males.

    Methods: A conventional extender (lactose buffer, with 20% egg-yolk, 0.5% OEP and 3% glycerol) was used as control. Cryodamage was assessed as loss of sperm motility, membrane and acrosome intactness, early membrane destabilization changes, mitochondrial potential, superoxide and ROS production, to finally determine lipid peroxidation (LPO) using specific probes.

    Results and conclusion: In general, the exogenous phospholipids assayed were unable of maintaining neither sperm motility nor viability post-thaw compared to controls, owing to increased ROS production and lipid peroxidation. In our study, mitochondrial superoxide production resulted in very high levels for all groups, whereas both ROS production and lipid peroxidation were reduced in the control group, containing emulsified hen egg yolk. Further studies using various dosage and combination of LPCS should be followed for their eventual protective effect.

    Keywords: Cryodamage; Sperm; Boar; Mitochondrial activation; Mitochondrial superoxide; ROS production; Lipid peroxidation

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  • 17.
    Alvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel
    et al.
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Anel-López, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Martínez-Rodríguez, Carmen
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, Campus de Vegazana, León Spain.
    Martínez-Pastor, Felipe
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, Campus de Vegazana, León Spain.
    Borragan, Santiago
    Cabárceno Park, Cantabria, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    de Paz, Paulino
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, Campus de Vegazana, León Spain.
    The antioxidant effects of soybean lecithin- or low-density lipoprotein-based extenders for the cryopreservation of brown-bear (Ursus arctos) spermatozoa.2013In: Reproduction, Fertility and Development, ISSN 1031-3613, E-ISSN 1448-5990, Vol. 25, no 8, p. 1185-1193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Egg yolk low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and soybean lecithin were evaluated as replacements for egg yolk in extenders used for the cryopreservation of brown-bear spermatozoa. The motility, viability and acrosomal status of post-thawed spermatozoa were analysed, and an egg-yolk extender was used as a control. The total antioxidant capacity of these extenders was tested. Soybean lecithin showed an effect that was dependent on the soybean concentration (2%, 3.5% and 5%) and source (Type A: 24% L-α-phosphatidylcholine, and Type B: 14-23% L-α-phosphatidylcholine). Only semen cryopreserved with 5% Type A soybean exhibited a sperm motility similar to that of semen cryopreserved in egg-yolk-based extender after thawing, although the sperm viability and acrosome status were not as high. Semen frozen in an extender containing LDL (10-15%) exhibited improved sperm viability in comparison with the control, but sperm motility was lower. The LDL-based extender exhibited a higher anti-oxidant activity than the egg-yolk extender and soy lecithin-based extenders. The extenders with higher anti-oxidant activity showed improvements in frozen sperm viability but lower semen motility. These results indicate that soybean lecithin did not have the same protective effect as egg yolk during the freezing of brown-bear spermatozoa but suggest that LDL (10-15%) could be a useful substitute for egg yolk in these extenders.

  • 18.
    Alvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel
    et al.
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain .
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Borragan, Santiago
    Cabárceno Park, Cantabria, Spain.
    Martinez-Pastor, Felipe
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain .
    Holt, W V
    The Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    Fazeli, Alireza
    The Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
    de Paz, Paulino
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain .
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    The addition of heat shock protein HSPA8 to cryoprotective media improves the survival of brown bear (Ursus arctos) spermatozoa during chilling and after cryopreservation.2013In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 79, no 3, p. 541-550Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Cantabrian brown bear survives as a small remnant population in northern Spain and semen cryopreservation for future artificial insemination is one of the measures being implemented for conservation of this species. As part of this program we investigated the value of adding heat shock protein A8 (HSPA8) to media (N-[Tris(hydroxymethyl)methyl]-2-aminoethanesulfonic acid-TRIS-fructose with 20% egg yolk) used for chilling and cryopreserving the spermatozoa. Semen samples from eight brown bears were obtained by electroejaculation during the breeding season. In experiment 1, we tested three concentrations of HSPA8 (0.5, 1, and 5 μg/mL) to determine whether sperm motility (computer assisted sperm analysis system) and sperm survival could be improved during refrigeration (5 °C) up to 48 hours. Results showed that sperm viability (test with propidium iodide) was improved by the addition of 0.5 and 5 μg/mL HSPA8. In experiment 2, HSPA8 was added to the cryopreservation media (6% final glycerol concentration) before the freezing process. Though there were no differences in sperm viability immediately after thawing (analyses to 0 hours), plasma membrane permeability (test with YO-PRO-1) was significantly lower by the presence of HSPA8 (1 μg/mL) and acrosomal damage (test with peanut agglutinin-fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugate) was reduced by higher concentrations of HSPA8 (1 and 5 μg/mL) (analyses after thermal stress test incubating over 2 hours to 37 °C). In experiment 3, results of a simple progression test carried out through artificial mucus (hyaluronic acid 4 mg/mL) showed a significant decrease in the total number of sperm able to swim a distance of 0.5 to 2 cm through a capillary tube for all HSPA8-based extenders. Nevertheless, the distance traveled by the vanguard spermatozoa, which represent a highly motile subpopulation, was restored by the inclusion of 1 and 5 μg/mL HSPA8 in the cryopreservation media. Thus, the HSPA8 addition to extender improves the quality of brown bear (Ursus arctos) sperm during chilling (viability) and after cryopreservation (number of sperm with damaged acrosomes and "apoptotic-like" changes).

  • 19.
    Alvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel
    et al.
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    López-Urueña, Elena
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Martínez-Rodriguez, Carmen
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Borragan, Santiago
    Cabárceno Park, Cabárceno, Cantabria, Spain.
    Anel-López, Luis
    SaBio IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Albacete, Spain.
    de Paz, Paulino
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Brown bear sperm double freezing: Effect of elapsed time and use of PureSperm(®) gradient between freeze-thaw cycles.2013In: Cryobiology, ISSN 0011-2240, E-ISSN 1090-2392, Vol. 67, no 3, p. 339-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of sexed spermatozoa has great potential to captive population management in endangered wildlife. The problem is that the sex-sorting facility is a long distance from the semen collection place and to overcome this difficulty two freeze-thaw cycles may be necessary. In this study, effects of refreezing on brown bear electroejaculated spermatozoa were analyzed. We carried out two experiments: (1) to assess the effects of the two freezing-thawing cycles on sperm quality and to analyze three different elapsed times between freezing-thawing cycles (30, 90 and 180 min), and (2) to analyze the use of PureSperm between freezing-thawing cycles to select a more motile and viable sperm subpopulation which better survived first freezing. The motility, viability and undamaged acrosomes were significantly reduced after the second thawing respect to first thawing into each elapsed time group, but the elapsed times did not significantly affect the viability and acrosome status although motility was damaged. Our results with the PureSperm gradient showed higher values of viability in freezability of select sample (pellet) respect to the rest of the groups and it also showed a significant decrease in the number of acrosome damaged. In summary, the double freezing of bear semen selected by gradient centrifugation is qualitatively efficient, and thus could be useful to carry out a sex-sorting of frozen-thawed bear spermatozoa before to send the cryopreserved sample to a biobank. Given the low recovery of spermatozoa after applying a selection gradient, further studies will be needed to increase the recovery rate without damaging of the cell quality.

  • 20.
    Anel-López, Luis
    et al.
    Biology of Reproduction Group. National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC) (UCLM-CSIC-JCCM), Albacete, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    García-Álvarez, Olga
    Biology of Reproduction Group. National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC) (UCLM-CSIC-JCCM), Albacete, Spain.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Maroto-Morales, Alejandro
    Biology of Reproduction Group. National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC) (UCLM-CSIC-JCCM), Albacete, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    de Paz, Paulino
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Garde, J Julián
    Biology of Reproduction Group. National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC) (UCLM-CSIC-JCCM), Albacete, Spain.
    Martínez-Pastor, Felipe
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Reduced glutathione and Trolox (vitamin E) as extender supplements in cryopreservation of red deer epididymal spermatozoa2012In: Animal Reproduction Science, ISSN 0378-4320, E-ISSN 1873-2232, Vol. 135, no 1-4, p. 37-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of assisted reproductive techniques in cervids is increasing as the commercial use of these species increase. We have tested the suitability of the antioxidants Trolox and reduced glutathione (GSH) for freezing red deer epididymal spermatozoa, aiming at improving post-thawing quality. Samples from 19 stags were frozen in a TES-Tris-fructose extender (20% egg yolk, 8% glycerol), with 1 or 5 mM of antioxidant. Motility (CASA), lipoperoxidation (malondialdehyde -MDA- production), membrane status, mitochondrial activity, acrosomal status (flow cytometry) and chromatin status (SCSA: %DFI and %HDS; flow cytometry) were assessed after thawing and after 6 h at 39°C. There were few differences between treatments after thawing, with Trolox reducing MDA production in a dose-response manner. After the incubation, sperm quality decreased and %DFI increased moderately, with no change for MDA. GSH improved motility, kinematic parameters and mitochondrial status, with a slight increase in %HDS. GSH 5 mM also increased moderately MDA production and %DFI, possibly due to enhanced metabolic activity and reducing power. Trolox maintained MDA low, but was detrimental to sperm quality. Trolox might not be appropriate for the cryopreservation of red deer epididymal spermatozoa, at least at the millimolar range. GSH results are promising, especially regarding motility improvement after the post-thawing incubation, and should be selected for future fertility trials.

  • 21.
    Atikuzzaman, Mohammad
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Carrillo, Alejandro Vicente
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Conserved gene expression in sperm reservoirs between birds and mammals in response to mating.2017In: BMC Genomics, E-ISSN 1471-2164, Vol. 18, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Spermatozoa are stored in the oviductal functional sperm reservoir in animals with internal fertilization, including zoologically distant classes such as pigs or poultry. They are held fertile in the reservoir for times ranging from a couple of days (in pigs), to several weeks (in chickens), before they are gradually released to fertilize the newly ovulated eggs. It is currently unknown whether females from these species share conserved mechanisms to tolerate such a lengthy presence of immunologically-foreign spermatozoa. Therefore, global gene expression was assessed using cDNA microarrays on tissue collected from the avian utero-vaginal junction (UVJ), and the porcine utero-tubal junction (UTJ) to determine expression changes after mating (entire semen deposition) or in vivo cloacal/cervical infusion of sperm-free seminal fluid (SF)/seminal plasma (SP).

    RESULTS: In chickens, mating changed the expression of 303 genes and SF-infusion changed the expression of 931 genes, as compared to controls, with 68 genes being common to both treatments. In pigs, mating or SP-infusion changed the expressions of 1,722 and 1,148 genes, respectively, as compared to controls, while 592 genes were common to both treatments. The differentially expressed genes were significantly enriched for GO categories related to immune system functions (35.72-fold enrichment). The top 200 differentially expressed genes of each treatment in each animal class were analysed for gene ontology. In both pig and chicken, an excess of genes affecting local immune defence were activated, though frequently these were down-regulated. Similar genes were found in both the chicken and pig, either involved in pH-regulation (SLC16A2, SLC4A9, SLC13A1, SLC35F1, ATP8B3, ATP13A3) or immune-modulation (IFIT5, IFI16, MMP27, ADAMTS3, MMP3, MMP12).

    CONCLUSION: Despite being phylogenetically distant, chicken and pig appear to share some gene functions for the preservation of viable spermatozoa in the female reservoirs.

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  • 22.
    Atikuzzaman, Mohammad
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Vicente Carrillo, Alejandro
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Correction: Conserved gene expression in sperm reservoirs between birds and mammals in response to mating (vol 18, 98, 2017)2017In: BMC Genomics, E-ISSN 1471-2164, Vol. 18, article id 563Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    n/a

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  • 23.
    Atikuzzaman, Mohammad
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Sanz, Libia
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia, CSIC, Valencia, Spain.
    Pla, Davinia
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia, CSIC, Valencia, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rubér, Marie
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Calvete, Juan J.
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia, CSIC, Valencia, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Selection for higher fertility reflects in the seminal fluid proteome of modern domestic chicken2017In: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics, ISSN 1744-117X, E-ISSN 1878-0407, Vol. 21, p. 27-40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The high egg-laying capacity of the modern domestic chicken (i.e. White Leghorn, WL) has arisen from the low egg-laying ancestor Red Junglefowl (RJF) via continuous trait selection and breeding. To investigate whether this long-term selection impacted the seminal fluid (SF)-proteome, 2DE electrophoresis-based proteomic analyses and immunoassays were conducted to map SF-proteins/cytokines in RJF, WL and a 9th generation Advanced Intercross Line (AIL) of RJF/WL-L13, including individual SF (n = 4, from each RJF, WL and AIL groups) and pools of the SF from 15 males of each group, analyzed by 2DE to determine their degree of intra-group (AIL, WL, and RJF) variability using Principal Component Analysis (PCA); respectively an inter-breed comparative analysis of intergroup fold change of specific SF protein spots intensity between breeds. The PCA clearly highlighted a clear intra-group similarity among individual roosters as well as a clear inter-group variability (e.g. between RJF, WL and AIL) validating the use of pools to minimize confounding individual variation. Protein expression varied considerably for processes related to sperm motility, nutrition, transport and survival in the female, including signaling towards immunomodulation. The major conserved SF-proteins were serum albumin and ovotransferrin. Aspartate aminotransferase, annexin A5, arginosuccinate synthase, glutathione S-transferase 2 and l-lactate dehydrogenase-A were RJF-specific. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase appeared specific to the WL-SF while angiotensin-converting enzyme, γ-enolase, coagulation factor IX, fibrinogen α-chain, hemoglobin subunit α-D, lysozyme C, phosphoglycerate kinase, Src-substrate protein p85, tubulins and thioredoxin were AIL-specific. The RJF-SF contained fewer immune system process proteins and lower amounts of the anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory TGF-β2 compared to WL and AIL, which had low levels- or lacked pro-inflammatory CXCL10 compared to RJF. The seminal fluid proteome differs between ancestor and modern chicken, with a clear enrichment of proteins and peptides related to immune-modulation for sperm survival in the female and fertility.

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  • 24.
    Barranco, Isabel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; University of Girona, Girona, Spain.
    Padilla, Lorena
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Martinez-Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Parrilla, Inmaculada
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Lucas, Xiomara
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Ferreira-Dias, Graça
    University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
    Yeste, Marc
    University of Girona, Girona, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Roca, Jordi
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Seminal Plasma Modulates miRNA Expression by Sow Genital Tract Lining Explants2020In: Biomolecules, E-ISSN 2218-273X, Vol. 10, no 6, article id E933Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The seminal plasma (SP) modulates the female reproductive immune environment after mating, and microRNAs (miRNAs) could participate in the process. Considering that the boar ejaculate is built by fractions differing in SP-composition, this study evaluated whether exposure of mucosal explants of the sow internal genital tract (uterus, utero-tubal junction and isthmus) to different SP-fractions changed the profile of explant-secreted miRNAs. Mucosal explants retrieved from oestrus sows (n = 3) were in vitro exposed to: Medium 199 (M199, Control) or M199 supplemented (1:40 v/v) with SP from the sperm-rich fraction (SRF), the post-SRF or the entire recomposed ejaculate, for 16 h. After, the explants were cultured in M199 for 24 h to finally collect the media for miRNA analyses using GeneChip miRNA 4.0 Array (Affymetrix). Fifteen differentially expressed (False Discovery Rate (FDR) < 0.05 and Fold-change ≥ 2) miRNAs (11 down- versus 4 up-regulated) were identified (the most in the media of uterine explants incubated with SP from post-SRF). Bioinformatics analysis identified that predicted target genes of dysregulated miRNAs, mainly miR-34b, miR-205, miR-4776-3p and miR-574-5p, were involved in functions and pathways related to immune response. In conclusion, SP is able to elicit changes in the miRNAs profile secreted by female genital tract, ultimately depending SP-composition.

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  • 25.
    Barranco, Isabel
    et al.
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Perez-Patiño, Cristina
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Tvarijonaviciute, Asta
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Parrilla, Inmaculada
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Vicente-Carrillo, Alejandro
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Ceron, Jose J
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Martinez, Emilio A
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Roca, Jordi
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
    Active paraoxonase 1 is synthesised throughout the internal boar genital organs.2017In: Reproduction (Cambridge, England), ISSN 1741-7899, Vol. 154, no 3, p. 237-243Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paraoxonase type 1 (PON1) is an enzyme with antioxidant properties recently identified in the seminal plasma (SP) of several species, including the porcine. The aims of the present study were to (1) describe the immunohistochemical localisation of PON1 in the genital organs of fertile boars and (2) evaluate the relationship among PON1 activity and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration in fluids of the boar genital organs. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that PON1 was present in testis (specifically in Leydig cells, blood vessels, spermatogonia and elongated spermatids), epididymis (specifically in the cytoplasm of the principal epithelial cells, luminal secretion and in the surrounding smooth muscle) and the lining epithelia of the accessory sexual glands (cytoplasmic location in the prostate and membranous in the seminal vesicle and bulbourethral glands). The Western blotting analysis confirmed the presence of PON1 in all boar genital organs, showing in all of them a band of 51 kDa and an extra band of 45 kDa only in seminal vesicles. PON1 showed higher activity levels in epididymal fluid than those in SP of the entire ejaculate or of specific ejaculate portions. A highly positive relationship between PON1 activity and HDL-C concentration was found in all genital fluids. In sum, all boar genital organs contributing to sperm-accompanying fluid/s were able to express PON1, whose activity in these genital fluids is highly dependent on the variable HDL-C concentration present.

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  • 26.
    Cambra, Josep M.
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Jauregi-Miguel, Amaia
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Parrilla, Inmaculada
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Gil, Maria A.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Martinez, Emilio A.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Cuello, Cristina
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Allogeneic Embryos Disregulate Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) and Its Receptor in the Porcine Endometrium During Implantation2020In: Frontiers in Veterinary Science, E-ISSN 2297-1769, Vol. 7, article id 611598Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite its advantages for pig breeding, embryo transfer (ET) has a major handicap: high embryo mortality during the pre- and implantation period, probably caused by divergent phenomena of tolerance between the immunologically unrelated (i.e., allogeneic) embryos and the recipient sow. Thus, to reach a similar maternal tolerance as in conventional breeding by artificial insemination (AI) would be the key to ET-success. For this reason, we studied the expression of the leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) cytokine and its receptor in the pig endometrium during the implantation period (days 18 and 24) in sows subjected to ET (AL group) vs. post-cervical-AI controls (Hemi-AL group). Quantification of expression was performed at both mRNA (rt-qPCR) and protein (WB) levels. The expression of endometrial LIF on day 24 was considerably lower in ET than in AI pregnancies. Correlations between endometrial mRNA levels of LIF and LIF-R showed that, contrary to early AI-pregnancies, ET-pregnancies lack an inverse relation between cytokine and receptor levels. In conclusion, ET-pregnancies lack sufficient endometrial levels of LIF to develop adequate immunotolerance mechanisms to prevent the rejection of allogeneic ET-embryos.

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  • 27.
    Crespo-Felez, I.
    et al.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Castaneda-Sampedro, A.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Sanchez, D. I.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Fernandez-Alegre, E.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Dominguez, J. C.
    University of Leon, Spain.
    Morrell, J. M.
    Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden.
    Martinez-Pastor, F.
    University of Leon, Spain; University of Leon, Spain.
    Effect of Single Layer Centrifugation Porcicoll (70%, 80% and 90%) or supplementation with reduced glutathione, seminal plasma and bovine serum albumin on frozen-thawed boar sperm2017In: Animal Reproduction Science, ISSN 0378-4320, E-ISSN 1873-2232, Vol. 187, p. 167-173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Selecting the optimal sperm population is essential for success with reproductive techniques. Porcicoll (formerly Androcoll-P) is a colloid formulation for selection of high-quality boar spermatozoa by single layer centrifugation (SLC). To date, most studies have been carried out with fresh semen and large volumes. We carried out 2 experiments to test the use of Porcicoll for thawed boar semen in small volumes. In Experiment 1, cryopreserved semen doses were thawed, split in 200-pL aliquots and layered on 1 mL of Porcicoll 70%, 80% or 90%, or buffer without colloid. We assessed sperm recovery (the proportion of the loading dose that appeared in the pellet, %), and the physiology of the selected spermatozoa (flow cytometry: Viability, apoptotic changes, capacitation, mitochondrial activity, intracellular reactive oxygen species). The most suitable proportion was Porcicoll 80%, allowing acceptable sperm recovery (16.9 4.2%, compared to 70% (35.4% 3.0, p amp;lt; 0.001) and 90% (8.2% 3.0, P = 0.001), and improved quality (mitochondrial activity: Porcicoll 80%: 77.7 1% vs Control: 60.3 0.7%, P amp;lt; 0.05). In Experiment 2, we compared 3 supplements to Porcicoll 80%: 500 mM reduced glutathione (GSH), 20% seminal plasma (SP) and 0.5% bovine serum albumin (BSA). Supplementation with GSH or BSA did not cause relevant changes relative to Control. In contrast, SP induced membrane and acrosomal changes resembling capacitation, which might preclude its use in some applications, and decreased recovery (5.5% 1.9 vs. 24.3% 1.2 Control; P amp;lt; 0.001). However, it could be useful prior to other applications such as in vitro fertilisation. Overall, Porcicoll is an effective colloid for isolating a high-quality population from thawed boar sperm, 80% being a balanced option for good recovery and high quality. Supplements could be useful depending on the proposed use of the spermatozoa.

  • 28.
    de Paz, Paulino
    et al.
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León.
    Nicolas, Manuel Aguilar
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León.
    Chamorro, Ca
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León.
    Borragán, Santiago
    Cabárceno Park, Cantabria, Spain.
    Martinez-Pastor, Felipe
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Molecular Biology, University of León, León, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, University of León, León, Spain; Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León.
    Optimization of glycerol concentration and freezing rate in the cryopreservation of ejaculate from brown bear (Ursus arctos).2012In: Reproduction in domestic animals, ISSN 0936-6768, E-ISSN 1439-0531, Vol. 47, no 1, p. 105-112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to establish a semen bank for the endangered Cantabrian brown bear, we tested five glycerol concentrations and three freezing rates for electroejaculated semen. Electroejaculation was performed on nine males. Semen was diluted in TES-Tris-Fructose (20% egg yolk, 2% EDTA, 1% Equex) with 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% glycerol and frozen at -10, -20 or -40°C/min. Before and after cryopreservation, samples were analysed for motility (CASA), viability and acrosomal status (flow cytometry). Pre-freezing results showed that glycerol concentration had no significant effect on total motility or progressive motility, but it significantly decreased VCL, ALH, viability and acrosomal status (p < 0.05). After thawing, sperm motility was higher at extender with 4%, 6% and 8% glycerol, but only at 4% and 6% glycerol for viability and acrosomal status. For 4% and 6% glycerol, freezing rates did not have significant effects. The curve fitting gave an estimate of the optimal glycerol concentration, with all the optimal values for every parameter between 6% and 7% glycerol falling. We propose using 6% glycerol and a freezing velocity of -20°C/min for freezing brown bear ejaculated spermatozoa.

  • 29.
    de Paz, Paulino
    et al.
    Department of Molecular Biology, University of León, León, Spain.
    Mata-Campuzano, María
    Department of Molecular Biology, University of León, León, Spain.
    Tizado, Emilio Jorge
    Department of Biodiversity and Environmental Management, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    Department of Veterinary Medicine, Anatomy and Surgery, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel
    Department of Veterinary Medicine, Anatomy and Surgery, University of León, León, Spain.
    Herraez, Paz
    Department of Molecular Biology, University of León, León, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    Department of Veterinary Medicine, Anatomy and Surgery, University of León, León, Spain.
    The relationship between ram sperm head morphometry and fertility depends on the procedures of acquisition and analysis used.2011In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 76, no 7, p. 1313-1325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sperm head morphometry is a parameter in the evaluation of semen that has been associated with fertility in two ways: comparing morphometric measures between predefined groups of fertility; or analyzing morphometric data by multivariate techniques to identify cell populations. We analyzed the morphometry of ram sperm head by three procedures and checked its relationship with male fertility. A Computer-Aided Sperm Morphometric Assessment procedure (CASMA), an image analysis software (NIS-Elements) in combination with an optical microscope (MO-NIS) and this image analysis software in combination with a scanning electron microscope (SEM-NIS) were used. Eight morphometric parameters were assessed: length, width, area, perimeter, ellipticity, form factor, elongation and regularity. We observed significant differences between the morphometric data of sperm head obtained with three study procedures. The CASMA procedure shows the highest values for all parameters and the SEM-NIS procedure the lowest. The analysis of a semen sample, when only the mean of morphometric parameters is used to describe the cell population, is too limited to interpret their fertilizing capacity. It is essential to analyze the complex structure of the samples by defining subpopulations by multivariate methods. With few exceptions, the means of each morphometric parameter differ between the three subpopulations analyzed in each procedure. Only the subpopulations obtained with the MO-NIS procedure showed a significant correlation with male fertility. In short, it is necessary to establish an instrumental standard for the analysis of sperm morphometry to obtain reliable results and we believe that the MO-NIS system presents these basic requirements.

  • 30.
    Fernández-Gago, Rocío
    et al.
    Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alonso, Marta E
    Department of Animal Production, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.
    González, J Ramiro
    Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.
    Alegre, Beatriz
    Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.
    Domínguez, Juan C
    Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.
    Martínez-Pastor, Felipe
    INDEGSAL (Institute for Animal Health and Cattle Development), University of León, 24071 León, Spain /Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, 24071 León, Spain/ .
    Thawing boar semen in the presence of seminal plasma improves motility, modifies subpopulation patterns and reduces chromatin alterations.2017In: Reproduction, fertility, and development, ISSN 1031-3613, Vol. 29, no 8, p. 1576-1584Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seminal plasma could have positive effects on boar semen after thawing. In the present study we investigated changes in the motility and chromatin structure in spermatozoa over 4h incubation (37°C) of boar semen thawed in the presence of 0%, 10% or 50% seminal plasma from good-fertility boars. Cryopreserved doses were used from seven males, three of which were identified as susceptible to post-thawing chromatin alterations. Motility was analysed by computer-aided sperm analysis every hour, and data were used in a two-step clustering, yielding three subpopulations of spermatozoa (slow non-linear, fast non-linear, fast linear). Chromatin structure was analysed using a sperm chromatin structure assay and flow cytometry to determine the DNA fragmentation index (%DFI) as a percentage, the standard deviation of the DFI (SD-DFI) and the percentage of high DNA stainability (%HDS), indicating chromatin compaction. Thawing without seminal plasma resulted in a rapid loss of motility, whereas seminal plasma helped maintain motility throughout the incubation period and preserved the subpopulation comprising fast and linear spermatozoa. The incidence of chromatin alterations was very low in samples from non-susceptible males, whereas samples from males susceptible to post-thawing chromatin alterations exhibited marked alterations in%DFI and%HDS. Seminal plasma partly prevented these alterations in samples from susceptible males. Overall, 50% seminal plasma was the most efficient concentration to protect motility and chromatin. Some changes were concomitant with physiological events reported previously (e.g., semen thawed with 50% seminal plasma increased the production of reactive oxygen species and yielded higher fertility after AI). Thawing in the presence of seminal plasma could be particularly useful in the case of samples susceptible to post-thawing chromatin damage.

  • 31.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Carbajal, Annais
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Tallo-Parra, Oriol
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Olvera-Maneu, Sergi
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Jose-Cunilleras, Eduard
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain; Western Univ Hlth Sci, CA 91766 USA.
    Temporary Relocation during Rest Periods: Relocation Stress and Other Factors Influence Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Horses2020In: Animals, E-ISSN 2076-2615, Vol. 10, no 4, article id 642Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Simple Summary Horses are frequently transported and exposed to a new environment for sport competition or working tasks and must readapt to their original conditions after a temporary relocation. The objective of this study was to determine if a temporary relocation, and multiple factors associated with a rest period, affect the adrenal response through the analysis of hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) in horses. Cortisol is a glucocorticoid released after the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and its assessment is being increasingly used as a bioindicator of stress response. Results showed that changes in the daily routine of the animals, including a supposed rest period, increased the HCCs. However, the risk of using low statistical power due to the small sample size cannot be completely ruled out. The elevation in HCCs could be a consequence of the change in the horses environmental and routine conditions, which could, in turn, have an impact on their welfare. Abstract Horse transportation for temporary relocation during rest periods is a common and widespread practice among horse owners, either from sport competition or working tasks. This study aimed to determine the effect of a relocation period and the multiple factors associated with a rest period on hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) in horses. Additionally, this study reports the seasonal effect on HCCs and hair growth over a year. Thirteen police horses, Pure Spanish stallions of various ages (5-13 y), were selected to participate in this study. Hair sample collection was carried out approximately every 30 d for seven months (Study 1) and a year (Study 2). Cortisol determinations were performed by enzyme immunoassay. Interestingly, Study 1 revealed that relocated horses (n = 4) exhibited elevated HCCs compared with control horses (n = 4) after the relocation period (p &lt; 0.05). Study 2 (n = 5) showed higher HCCs during summer compared with autumn and winter, and higher hair growth rates in winter compared with the other seasons (p &lt; 0.05). Relocated horses had higher HCCs, suggesting a change in their welfare status, probably related to the sudden change in their surrounding conditions. However, these results should be interpreted cautiously due to the low sample size used. The nature of the relationship between HCCs and horse welfare needs to be further examined.

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  • 32.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
    Jauregi-Miguel, Amaia
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Molecular Medicine and Virology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Martinez, Cristina A.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain: Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
    Semen Modulates the Expression of NGF, ABHD2, VCAN, and CTEN in the Reproductive Tract of Female Rabbits2020In: Genes, ISSN 2073-4425, E-ISSN 2073-4425, Vol. 11, no 7, article id E758Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Semen changes the gene expression in endometrial and oviductal tissues modulating important processes for reproduction. We tested the hypothesis that mating and/or sperm-free seminal plasma deposition in the reproductive tract affect the expression of genes associated with sperm-lining epithelium interactions, ovulation, and pre-implantation effects (nerve growth factor, NGF; α/β hydrolase domain-containing protein 2, ABHD2; C-terminal tensin-like protein, CTEN or TNS4; and versican, VCAN) in the period 10-72 h post-mating. In Experiment 1, does (n = 9) were treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) (control), GnRH-stimulated, and vaginally infused with sperm-free seminal plasma (SP-AI), or GnRH-stimulated and naturally mated (NM). In Experiment 2, does (n = 15) were GnRH-stimulated and naturally mated. Samples were retrieved from the internal reproductive tracts (cervix-to-infundibulum) 20 h post-treatment (Experiment 1) or sequentially collected at 10, 24, 36, 68, or 72 h post-mating (Experiment 2, 3 does/period). All samples were processed for gene expression analysis by quantitative PCR. Data showed an upregulation of endometrial CTEN and NGF by NM, but not by SP-AI. The findings suggest that the NGF gene affects the reproductive tract of the doe during ovulation and beyond, influencing the maternal environment during early embryonic development.

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  • 33.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Jauregi-Miguel, Amaia
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Molecular Medicine and Virology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain; Western Univ Hlth Sci, CA 91766 USA.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Semen Modulates Inflammation and Angiogenesis in the Reproductive Tract of Female Rabbits2020In: Animals, E-ISSN 2076-2615, Vol. 10, no 12, article id 2207Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Simple Summary In mammals, the expression of regulatory genes is modified by the interaction between semen and the female reproductive tract. This study intends to unveil how mating or insemination with sperm-free seminal plasma, as well as the presence of preimplantation embryos, affects inflammation and angiogenesis in different segments of the reproductive tract of female rabbits. Gene expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines and angiogenesis mediators was analyzed in segmented tracts (cervix to infundibulum) in response to mating and sperm-free seminal plasma infusion. Moreover, the gene expression at different times post-mating was also analyzed. Results showed that gene expression changes were mainly localized in the uterus in the natural mating group, describing a clear temporal variation, while limited to the oviduct in the sperm-free seminal plasma group. These changes suggest an early response in the uterus and late modulation in the oviduct, distinctly demonstrating that semen and seminal plasma, through their interaction with the female reproductive tract, can differentially modulate the expression of anti-inflammatory and angiogenesis mediators. The maternal environment modulates immune responses to facilitate embryo development and ensure pregnancy. Unraveling this modulation could improve the livestock breeding systems. Here it is hypothesized that the exposure of the female rabbit reproductive tract to semen, as well as to early embryos, modulates inflammation and angiogenesis among different tissue segments. qPCR analysis of the gene expression changes of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL10) and transforming growth factor beta family (TGF beta 1-3) and the angiogenesis mediator vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) were examined in response to mating or insemination with sperm-free seminal plasma (SP). Reproductive tract segment (cervix to infundibulum) samples were obtained in Experiment 1, 20 h after gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulation (control), natural mating (NM) or vaginal infusion with sperm-free SP (SP-AI). Additionally, segmented samples were also obtained at 10, 24, 36, 68 or 72 h after GnRH-stimulation and natural mating (Experiment 2). The results of gene expression, analyzed by quantitative PCR, showed that NM effects were mainly localized in the uterine tissues, depicting clear temporal variation, while SP-AI effects were restricted to the oviduct. Changes in anti-inflammatory and angiogenesis mediators indicate an early response in the uterus and a late modulation in the oviduct either induced by semen or preimplantation embryos. This knowledge could be used in the implementation of physiological strategies in breeding systems to face the new challenges on rabbit productivity and sustainability.

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  • 34.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Ruiz-Conca, Mateo
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Mogas, Teresa
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Induction of CIRBP expression by cold shock on bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes2019In: Reproduction in domestic animals, ISSN 0936-6768, E-ISSN 1439-0531, Vol. 54, p. 82-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to induce the cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRBP) expression on cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) through exposure to a sub-lethal cold shock and determine the effects of hypothermic temperatures during the in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes. Nuclear maturation, cortical granule redistribution and identification of cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRBP) were assessed after 24 hr of in vitro maturation of control (38.5 degrees C) and cold-stressed oocytes (33.5 degrees C). The presence of CIRBP was assessed by Western blot in COCs or denuded oocytes and their respective cumulus cells. Based on the odds ratio, cold-stressed oocytes presented higher abnormal cytoplasmic distribution of cortical granules and nuclear maturation than the control group. Although CIRBP was detected in both control and cold-stressed groups, cold-stressed COCs had 2.17 times more expression of CIRBP than control COCs. However, when denuded oocytes and cumulus cells were assessed separately, CIRBP only was detected in cumulus cells in both groups. In conclusion, cold shock induced CIRBP expression, but it negatively affected nuclear maturation and cortical granule distribution of bovine oocytes. Moreover, the expression of CIRBP was only identified in cumulus cells but not in oocytes.

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  • 35.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Ruiz-Conca, Mateo
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Garcia-Sanmartin, Josune
    Ctr Biomed Res Rioja CIBIR, Spain.
    Martinez, Alfredo
    Ctr Biomed Res Rioja CIBIR, Spain.
    Mogas, Teresa
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain; Western Univ Hlth Sci, CA USA.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Mild hypothermia and vitrification increase the mRNA expression of cold-inducible proteins in bovine oocytes and cumulus cells2022In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 185, p. 16-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRBP) assists cells in adapting to new environmental conditions stabilizing specific mRNAs and promoting their translation. CIRBP participates in anti-apoptotic and anti-senescence processes, and its expression is induced by mild hypothermia, which may be advantageous to oocytes during vitrification. Several newly discovered small molecules, like zr17-2, mimic the effects of cold temperatures by increasing the expression of CIRBP at normothermia. This study aimed to evaluate the mRNA changes of a group of cold-inducible protein-encoding and apoptotic genes in response to exogenous supplementation of zr17-2 (experiment 1) or CIRBP (experiment 2) in vitro matured bovine oocytes and their cumulus cells. In experiment 1, cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were randomly exposed to three concentrations of zr17-2 (1, 10, and 100 mu M) during 24 h of in vitro maturation (IVM) under normothermia (38.5 degrees C) or mild hypothermia (34 degrees C) culture conditions. In experiment 2, COCs were randomly exposed to three concentrations of CIRBP (2, 4, and 6 mu g/mL) or subjected to mild hypothermia (34 degrees C), followed by oocyte vitrification/warming after 20 h of IVM. The quantification of the selected gene transcript expression was performed separately in oocytes and cumulus cells by quantitative real-time PCR. We show that oocytes and cumulus cells exhibited similar mRNA expression responses to mild hypothermia and vitrification. However, minor differences were observed when COCs were exposed to exogenous supplementation with zr17-2 and CIRBP. In conclusion, the alterations observed in the mRNA expression in these experimental conditions may impact the quality of the cumulus-oocyte complexes in terms of vitrification and sublethal hypothermia challenges. In this sense, our results should complement other oocyte quality assessments for its application in future assisted reproductive techniques in the bovine species, including improving oocyte cryotolerance to vitrification. (C) 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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  • 36.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Ruiz-Conca, Mateo
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Martinez, Cristina A.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain; Western Univ Hlth Sci, CA 91766 USA.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    The Expression of Cold-Inducible RNA-Binding Protein mRNA in Sow Genital Tract is Modulated by Natural Mating, but not by Seminal Plasma2020In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, Vol. 21, no 15, article id 5333Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), some of them induced by transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, are crucial regulators of RNA function that can contribute to reproductive pathogenesis, including inflammation and immune dysfunction. This study aimed to reveal the influence of spermatozoa, seminal plasma, or natural mating on mRNA expression of RBPs and TRP ion channels in different segments of the internal genital tract of oestrous, preovulatory sows. Particularly, we focused on mRNA expression changes of the cold-inducible proteins (CIPs) and related TRP channels. Pre-ovulatory sows were naturally mated (NM) or cervically infused with semen (Semen-AI) or sperm-free seminal plasma either from the entire ejaculate (SP-TOTAL) or the sperm-rich fraction (SP-AI). Samples (cervix to infundibulum) were collected by laparotomy under general anaesthesia for transcriptomic analysis (GeneChip(R)Porcine Gene 1.0 ST Array) 24 h after treatments. The NM treatment induced most of the mRNA expression changes, compared to Semen-AI, SP-AI, and SP-TOTAL treatments including unique significative changes inCIRBP,RBM11,RBM15B,RBMS1,TRPC1,TRPC4,TRPC7, andTRPM8. The findings on the differential mRNA expression on RBPs and TRP ion channels, especially to CIPs and related TRP ion channels, suggest that spermatozoa and seminal plasma differentially modulated both protein families during the preovulatory phase, probably related to a still unknown early signalling mechanism in the sow reproductive tract.

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  • 37.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Ruiz-Conca, Mateo
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Olvera-Maneu, Sergi
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain; Western Univ Hlth Sci, CA 91766 USA.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    The mRNA expression of the three major described cold-inducible proteins, including CIRBP, differs in the bovine endometrium and ampulla during the estrous cycle2022In: Research in Veterinary Science, ISSN 0034-5288, E-ISSN 1532-2661, Vol. 152, p. 181-189Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The cold-inducible proteins (CIPs) are essential for post-transcriptional gene regulation playing diverse tissue-specific roles in maintaining normal cellular function and morphogenesis. The potential implications of CIPs in reproductive events raise questions about their role in the physiology of the bovine reproductive tract. However, the expression changes of CIPs during the bovine estrous cycle have not been studied so far. Here, we hypothesized that the bovine estrous cycle could affect the mRNA expression of the CIPs and other candidate transcripts in the reproductive tract. This study aimed to examine estrous cycle-dependent mRNA expression patterns in the bovine endometrium and ampulla of three of the major described CIPs (CIRBP, RBM3, SRSF5), a set of inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, IL-18, IL-1 beta), and other candidate genes (IL-10RA, IL-10RB, BCL2, NLRP3, STAT1, STAT3, STAT5A, STAT6). Endometrial and ampullar tissues were assessed by RT-qPCR. Additionally, the mRNA expression levels were correlated among them and with follicular progesterone and estradiol concentrations. The transcript levels of CIPs increased in the endometrium during stage III (Days 11-17) compared to stage I (Days 1-4) and IV (Days 18-20). In the ampulla, the mRNA expression of CIRBP increased during the late luteal phase (stage III), but no differences in the expression of other CIPs were observed. This study expands the current knowledge regarding mRNA expression in the endometrium and oviductal ampulla of cycling heifers, focusing mainly on the CIPs. A better understanding of the mechanisms within the uterus and oviduct during the estrous cycle is crucial to improving the fertility rate.

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  • 38.
    Gardela, Jaume
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Ruiz-Conca, Mateo
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lopez-Bejar, Manel
    Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain; Western Univ Hlth Sci, CA 91766 USA.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Semen Modulates Cell Proliferation and Differentiation-Related Transcripts in the Pig Peri-Ovulatory Endometrium2022In: Biology, E-ISSN 2079-7737, Vol. 11, no 4, article id 616Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Uterine homeostasis is maintained after mating by eliminating pathogens, foreign cells, and proteins by a transient inflammation of the uterus. Such inflammation does not occur in the oviductal sperm reservoir (utero-tubal junction, UTJ), colonized by a population of potentially fertile spermatozoa before the inflammatory changes are triggered. Semen entry (spermatozoa and/or seminal plasma) modifies the expression of regulatory genes, including cell proliferation and differentiation-related transcripts. Considering pigs display a fractionated ejaculation, this study aims to determine whether different ejaculate fractions differentially modulate cell proliferation and differentiation-related transcripts in the sow reproductive tract during the peri-ovulatory stage. Using species-specific microarray analyses, the differential expression of 144 cell proliferation and differentiation-related transcripts was studied in specific segments: cervix (Cvx), distal and proximal uterus (DistUt, ProxUt), UTJ, isthmus (Isth), ampulla (Amp), and infundibulum (Inf) of the peri-ovulatory sow reproductive tract in response to semen and/or seminal plasma cervical deposition. Most mRNA expression changes were induced by mating. In addition, while mating upregulates the fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1, p-value DistUt = 0.0007; ProxUt = 0.0253) transcript in the endometrium, both its receptor, the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1, p-value DistUt = 2.14 e(-06); ProxUt = 0.0027; UTJ = 0.0458) transcript, and a potentiator of its biological effect, the fibroblast growth factor binding protein 1 (FGFBP1), were downregulated in the endometrium (p-value DistUt = 0.0068; ProxUt = 0.0011) and the UTJ (p-value UTJ = 0.0191). The FGFBP1 was downregulated in the whole oviduct after seminal depositions (p-value Isth = 0.0007; Amp = 0.0007; Inf = 6.87 e(-05)) and, interestingly, FGFR1 was downregulated in the endometrium in the absence of semen (p-value DistUt = 0.0097; ProxUt = 0.0456). In conclusion, the findings suggest that spermatozoa, seminal components, and the act of mating trigger, besides inflammation, differential mechanisms in the peri-ovulatory female reproductive tract, relevant for tissue repair.

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  • 39.
    Iso-Touru, Terhi
    et al.
    Nat Resources Inst Finland Luke, Finland.
    Wurmser, Christine
    Tech Univ Munich, Germany.
    Venhoranta, Heli
    Univ Helsinki, Finland.
    Hiltpold, Maya
    Swiss Fed Inst Technol, Switzerland.
    Savolainen, Tujia
    Univ Helsinki, Finland.
    Sironen, Anu
    Nat Resources Inst Finland Luke, Finland.
    Fischer, Konrad
    Tech Univ Munich, Germany.
    Flisikowski, Krzysztof
    Tech Univ Munich, Germany.
    Fries, Ruedi
    Tech Univ Munich, Germany.
    Vicente Carrillo, Alejandro
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Nagy, Szabolcs
    Univ Pannonia, Hungary.
    Mutikainen, Mervi
    Nat Resources Inst Finland Luke, Finland.
    Peippo, Jaana
    Nat Resources Inst Finland Luke, Finland.
    Taponen, Juhani
    Univ Helsinki, Finland.
    Sahana, Goutam
    Aarhus Univ, Denmark.
    Guldbrandtsen, Bernt
    Aarhus Univ, Denmark.
    Simonen, Henri
    VikingGenet, Finland.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Andersson, Magnus
    Univ Helsinki, Finland.
    Pausch, Hubert
    Swiss Fed Inst Technol, Switzerland.
    A splice donor variant in CCDC189 is associated with asthenospermia in Nordic Red dairy cattle2019In: BMC Genomics, E-ISSN 1471-2164, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 286Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Cattle populations are highly amenable to the genetic mapping of male reproductive traits because longitudinal data on ejaculate quality and dense microarray-derived genotypes are available for thousands of artificial insemination bulls. Two young Nordic Red bulls delivered sperm with low progressive motility (i.e., asthenospermia) during a semen collection period of more than four months. The bulls were related through a common ancestor on both their paternal and maternal ancestry. Thus, a recessive mode of inheritance of asthenospermia was suspected.

    Results

    Both bulls were genotyped at 54,001 SNPs using the Illumina BovineSNP50 Bead chip. A scan for autozygosity revealed that they were identical by descent for a 2.98 Mb segment located on bovine chromosome 25. This haplotype was not found in the homozygous state in 8557 fertile bulls although five homozygous haplotype carriers were expected (P = 0.018). Whole genome-sequencing uncovered that both asthenospermic bulls were homozygous for a mutation that disrupts a canonical 5′ splice donor site of CCDC189 encoding the coiled-coil domain containing protein 189. Transcription analysis showed that the derived allele activates a cryptic splice site resulting in a frameshift and premature termination of translation. The mutated CCDC189 protein is truncated by more than 40%, thus lacking the flagellar C1a complex subunit C1a-32 that is supposed to modulate the physiological movement of the sperm flagella. The mutant allele occurs at a frequency of 2.5% in Nordic Red cattle.

    Conclusions

    Our study in cattle uncovered that CCDC189 is required for physiological movement of sperm flagella thus enabling active progression of spermatozoa and fertilization. A direct gene test may be implemented to monitor the asthenospermia-associated allele and prevent the birth of homozygous bulls that are infertile. Our results have been integrated in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) database (https://omia.org/OMIA002167/9913/).

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  • 40.
    Lacalle, Estibaliz
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Leon, Spain.
    Consuegra, Cesar
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Cordoba, Spain.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Hidalgo, Manuel
    Univ Cordoba, Spain.
    Dorado, Jesus
    Univ Cordoba, Spain.
    Martinez-Pastor, Felipe
    Univ Leon, Spain; Univ Leon, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Bicarbonate-Triggered In Vitro Capacitation of Boar Spermatozoa Conveys an Increased Relative Abundance of the Canonical Transient Receptor Potential Cation (TRPC) Channels 3, 4, 6 and 7 and of CatSper-gamma Subunit mRNA Transcripts2022In: Animals, E-ISSN 2076-2615, Vol. 12, no 8, article id 1012Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Simple Summary The detection of sub-fertile boars has been a difficult task, and despite their prevalence being low, its impact is very significant because it implies economic drawbacks for artificial insemination (AI) centers and farms. Unfortunately, some crucial reproductive processes fall beyond the routine analysis performed in the porcine model, such as sperm capacitation, which is a necessary event for fertilization. A synergistic action of bicarbonate (HCO3-) with calcium (Ca2+) is needed to achieve capacitation. The transport of Ca2+ is mediated by CatSper channels and Canonical Transient Potential Channels (TRPC). We quantified mRNA transcripts of different subunits of CatSper (beta, gamma and delta) and TRPC (1, 3, 4, 6 and 7) before and after in vitro capacitation by HCO3- ions. Our results showed that in vitro capacitation using HCO3- increases the relative abundance of mRNA transcripts of almost all subunits of Ca2+ channels, except CatSper-delta and TRPC1, which were significantly reduced. More studies are needed to elucidate the specific roles of the TRPC channels at a physiological and functional level. Sperm capacitation is a stepwise complex biochemical process towards fertilization. It includes a crucial early calcium (Ca2+) transport mediated by CatSper channels and Canonical Transient Potential Channels (TRPC). We studied the relative abundance of mRNA transcripts changes of the CatSper beta, gamma and delta subunits and TRPC-channels 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 in pig spermatozoa, after triggering in vitro capacitation by bicarbonate ions at levels present in vivo at the fertilization site. For this purpose, we analyzedfive5 ejaculate pools (from three fertile adult boars) before (control-fresh samples) and after in vitro exposure to capacitation conditions (37 mM NaHCO3, 2.25 mM CaCl2, 2 mM caffeine, 0.5% bovine serum albumin and 310 mM lactose) at 38 degrees C, 5% CO2 for 30 min. In vitro capacitation using bicarbonate elicits an increase in the relative abundance of mRNA transcripts of almost all studied Ca2+ channels, except CatSper-delta and TRPC1 (significantly reduced). These findings open new avenues of research to identify the specific role of each channel in boar sperm capacitation and elucidate the physiological meaning of the changes on sperm mRNA cargo.

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  • 41.
    Liffner, Susanne
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
    Pehrson, Isabelle
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health.
    Garcia-Calvo, Laura
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health.
    Nedstrand, Elisabeth
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
    Zalavary, Stefan
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
    Hammar, Mats
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Diagnostics of DNA fragmentation in human spermatozoa: Are sperm chromatin structure analysis and sperm chromatin dispersion tests (SCD-HaloSpermG2 (R)) comparable?2019In: Andrologia, ISSN 0303-4569, E-ISSN 1439-0272, Vol. 51, no 8, article id e13316Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Men affected with idiopathic infertility often display basic spermiogramme values similar to fertile individuals, questioning the diagnostic impact of the World Health Organization (WHO) thresholds used. This study explored sperm DNA fragmentation in single ejaculates from 14 fertile donors and 42 patients with idiopathic infertility providing semen for assisted reproductive techniques in a university fertility clinic. Each ejaculate was simultaneously studied for sperm DNA fragmentation by the flow cytometer-based sperm chromatin structure analysis (SCSA) and the new light-microscopy-based sperm chromatin dispersion assay (SCD-HaloSpermG2 (R)), before and after sperm selection for in vitro fertilisation with a colloid discontinuous gradient. The WHO semen variables did not differ between groups, but DNA fragmentation after SCSA (DFI) or SCD (SDF) was significantly (p amp;lt; 0.05) higher in patients (DFI: 40.2% +/- 3.0 vs. SDF: 40.3% +/- 1.4) than in fertile donors (DFI: 17.1% +/- 2.1 vs. SDF: 20.9% +/- 2.5). Sperm selection led to lower proportions of DNA-fragmented spermatozoa (DFI: 11.9 +/- 1.7 vs. SCD: 10.0 +/- 0.9, p amp;lt; 0.05). The techniques output correlated highly and significantly (r(2) = 0.82). DNA fragmentation is confirmed as a relevant variable for scrutinising patients with idiopathic infertility, beyond the evidently insufficient WHO semen analyses. Since both techniques yielded similar results, the reduced necessity of complex equipment when running SCD ought to be considered for a clinical setting.

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  • 42.
    Martinez, Cristina A.
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Cambra, Josep M.
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Campus de Ciencias de la Salud, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Gil, Maria A.
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Campus de Ciencias de la Salud, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Parrilla, Inmaculada
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Campus de Ciencias de la Salud, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Cuello, Cristina
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Campus de Ciencias de la Salud, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Martinez, Emilio A
    University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Campus de Ciencias de la Salud, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.
    Seminal Plasma Induces Overexpression of Genes Associated with Embryo Development and Implantation in Day-6 Porcine Blastocysts2020In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 21, no 10, article id E3662Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The infusion of boar seminal plasma (SP) before artificial insemination (AI) positively alters the expression of endometrial genes and pathways involved in embryo development. This study aimed to determine which transcriptome changes occur in preimplantation embryos in response to SP infusions during estrus. Postweaning estrus sows received 40-mL intrauterine infusions of either SP (N = 6) or BTS extender (control group; N = 6) 30 min before each of two post-cervical AIs. On Day 6, embryos were surgically collected and analyzed for differential gene expression. Microarray analysis of embryos revealed 210 annotated genes, differentially expressed (p-value < 0.05 and fold change </> 2) in SP-blastocysts, compared to controls. Most of these genes were associated with biological, cellular, metabolic and developmental processes. The pathways enriched among the upregulated genes related to signal transduction, cellular processes and the endocrine system. Among altered genes involved in these pathways, the SP-group showed a conspicuous overexpression of ApoA-I, CDK1, MAPK1, SMAD2, PRKAA1 and RICTOR, with reported key roles in embryo development, implantation, or progression of pregnancy. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that SP infusions prior to AI upregulates the expression of embryo development related genes in Day 6 pig embryos.

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  • 43.
    Martinez, Cristina A
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rubér, Marie
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Pig Pregnancies after Transfer of Allogeneic Embryos Show a Dysregulated Endometrial/Placental Cytokine Balance: A Novel Clue for Embryo Death?2020In: Biomolecules, E-ISSN 2218-273X, Vol. 10, no 4, article id E554Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pig embryo transfer (ET) is burdened by high embryo mortality, with cytokines playing a significant role in recruitment of immune cells during embryo attachment and placentation. We hereby tested if their levels in endometrium and placenta from sows carrying hemi-allogeneic (artificially inseminated sows; C+ positive control) or allogeneic embryos (sows subjected to ET; ET) during peri-implantation (D18) or post-implantation (D24) are suitable mirrors of embryo rejection or tolerance after ET. Non-pregnant sows (C-) were used as negative controls. A set of cytokines was assayed in the tissues through multiplexed microsphere-based flow cytometry (Luminex xMAP, Millipore. USA). Fewer (58.7%. p < 0.003) conceptuses were recovered at D24 after ET compared to C+ (80.9%); with more than 20% of the ET conceptuses being developmentally delayed. Cytokine levels shifted during implantation. Anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in ET sows compared to C+ at D24 of pregnancy. The C+ controls (carrying hemi-allogeneic embryos) consistently showed higher levels of pro-inflammatory TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-2 cytokines at D18 and IL-1α at D24, compared to the ET group. This clear dysregulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in sows subjected to ET could be associated with an impaired maternal immune tolerance, explaining the high embryonic mortality of ET programs.

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  • 44.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Casado Bedmar, Maria Teresa
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Surgery, Orthopedics and Oncology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    In Vitro Maturation of Cumulus-Oocyte Complexes and In Vitro Sperm Capacitation Significantly Increase the Expression and Enhance the Location of the CXCL12 and CXCR4 Anchoring Attractant Complex in Pigs2021In: Animals, E-ISSN 2076-2615, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Simple Summary The process of mammalian fertilization is dependent on many mechanisms mediated by regulatory genes and proteins expressed in the gametes and/or the female genital tract. This study aimed to determine the expression and location of the cytokine complex CXCL12:CXCR4 in the porcine gametes: oocytes and spermatozoa. This complex is known to play a pivotal role for sperm attraction towards the oocyte prior to internal fertilization in several mammalian species. Gene and protein expressions were analyzed in female and male porcine gametes. The results showed that the CXCL12 gene expression was higher in mature cumulus cells, and CXCR4 was higher in capacitated spermatozoa, both being requisites for gametes to accomplish fertilization. Moreover, for the first time, the CXCL12 protein was located in the cytoplasm of cumulus cells from mature COCs, and the CXCR4 protein was expressed in the midpiece and principal piece of uncapacitated spermatozoa and also in the sperm head of capacitated spermatozoa. These findings increase our current knowledge on porcine physiology of fertilization and reproduction, leading to possible improvements in the performance of reproductive technologies. Successful internal fertilization in mammals depends on several mechanisms, including those triggering the so-called "sperm attraction" towards the oocyte, which include some oocyte-derived sperm chemoattractants and interactive protein complexes, such as the cytokine C-X-C motif chemokine 12/C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCL12-CXCR4) receptor complex. The presence and precise localization of these crucial proteins was determined hereby, for the first time, in porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) and spermatozoa. CXCL12 was overexpressed in the cumulus cells of in vitro matured, compared to immature COCs (p &lt; 0.05), with its receptor (CXCR4) being up-regulated in capacitated spermatozoa (p &lt; 0.03) compared to uncapacitated spermatozoa. The CXCR4 appeared specifically localized in the sperm tail of non-capacitated spermatozoa and also in the sperm head of capacitated spermatozoa, suggesting that the CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling complex would play a pivotal role in attracting capacitated spermatozoa towards the oocyte, facilitating fertilization in pigs.

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  • 45.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    A decreased expression of interferon stimulated genes in peri-implantation endometrium of embryo transfer recipient sows could contribute to embryo death2022In: Animal, ISSN 1751-7311, E-ISSN 1751-732X, Vol. 16, no 8, article id 100590Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pig pregnancy succeeds thanks to a well-coordinated system ruling both maternal immune activation and embryonic antigen tolerance. In physiological pregnancies, the maternal immune system should tolerate the presence of hemi-allogeneic conceptuses from the pre-implantation phase to term, while maintaining maternal defence against pathogens. Allogeneic pregnancies, as after embryo transfer (ET), depict high embryo mortality during the attachment phase, calling for studies of the dynamic modifications in immune processes occurring at the maternal-foetal interface, for instance, of interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs). These ISGs are generally activated by IFN secreted by the conceptus during the process of maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP) and responsible for recruiting immune cells to the site of embryo attachment, thus facilitating cell-antigen presentation and angiogenesis. We performed RNA-Seq analysis in peri-implantation (days 18 and 24) endometrial samples retrieved from artificially inseminated sows (hemi-allogeneic embryos (HAL) group) or sows subjected to ET (allogeneic embryos (AL) group) to monitor alterations of gene expression that could be jeopardising early pregnancy. Our results showed that endometrial gene expression patterns related to immune responses differed between hemi- or allogeneic embryo presence, with allogeneic embryos apparently inducing conspicuous modifications of immune-related genes and pathways. A decreased expression (P &lt; 0.05; FC &lt; -2) of several interferon ISGs, such as CXCL8, CXCL10, IRF1, IRF9, STAT1, and B2M, among others was detected in the endometrium of sows carrying allogeneic embryos on day 24 of pregnancy. This severe downregulation of ISGs in allogeneic pregnancies could represent a failure of ET-embryos to signal IFN to the endometrium to warrant the development of adequate immunotolerance mechanisms to facilitate embryo development, thus contributing to elevated embryo death. (C) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Animal Consortium.

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  • 46.
    Martinez Serrano, Cristina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Roca, Jordi
    Univ Murcia, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    miRNA-Profiling in Ejaculated and Epididymal Pig Spermatozoa and Their Relation to Fertility after Artificial Insemination2022In: Biology, E-ISSN 2079-7737, Vol. 11, no 2, article id 236Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Simple Summary The present study searched for the presence and abundance of porcine spermatozoa small RNA sequences (microRNAs) that have the potential to alter gene expression patterns. Four different sperm sources were compared: spermatozoa from three different sections of the ejaculate and from the caudal epididymis, also classed as spermatozoa from higher (HF) or lower (LF) fertility boars. Sperm miRNAs were compared using high-output small RNA sequencing. We identified five sperm miRNAs not previously reported in pigs. Differences in abundance of four miRNAs known to affect the expression of genes with key roles in fertility were related to boar fertility. These miRNAs could be used as fertility markers in artificial insemination programs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs (20-25 nucleotides in length) capable of regulating gene expression by binding -fully or partially- to the 3-UTR of target messenger RNA (mRNA). To date, several studies have investigated the role of sperm miRNAs in spermatogenesis and their remaining presence toward fertilization and early embryo development. However, little is known about the miRNA cargo in the different sperm sources and their possible implications in boar fertility. Here, we characterized the differential abundance of miRNAs in spermatozoa from the terminal segment of the epididymis and three different fractions of the pig ejaculate (sperm-peak, sperm-rich, and post-sperm rich) comparing breeding boars with higher (HF) and lower (LF) fertility after artificial insemination (AI) using high-output small RNA sequencing. We identified five sperm miRNAs that, to our knowledge, have not been previously reported in pigs (mir-10386, mir-10390, mir-6516, mir-9788-1, and mir-9788-2). Additionally, four miRNAs (mir-1285, mir-92a, mir-34c, mir-30), were differentially expressed among spermatozoa sourced from ejaculate fractions and the cauda epididymis, and also different abundance was found between HF and LF groups in mir-182, mir-1285, mir-191, and mir-96. These miRNAs target genes with key roles in fertility, sperm survival, immune tolerance, or cell cycle regulation, among others. Linking the current findings with the expression of specific sperm proteins would help predict fertility in future AI-sires.

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  • 47.
    Martinez-Serrano, Cristina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Children's and Women's Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Does the Pre-Ovulatory Pig Oviduct Rule Sperm Capacitation In Vivo Mediating Transcriptomics of Catsper Channels?2020In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1661-6596, E-ISSN 1422-0067, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, Vol. 21, no 5, article id 1840Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spermatozoa need to conduct a series of biochemical changes termed capacitation in order to fertilize. In vivo, capacitation is sequentially achieved during sperm transport and interaction with the female genital tract, by mechanisms yet undisclosed in detail. However, when boar spermatozoa are stored in the tubal reservoir pre-ovulation, most appear to be in a non-capacitated state. This study aimed at deciphering the transcriptomics of capacitation-related genes in the pig pre-ovulatory oviduct, following the entry of semen or of sperm-free seminal plasma (SP). Ex-vivo samples of the utero-tubal junction (UTJ) and isthmus were examined with a microarray chip (GeneChip((R)) Porcine Gene 1.0 ST Array, Thermo Fisher Scientific) followed by bioinformatics for enriched analysis of functional categories (GO terms) and restrictive statistics. The results confirmed that entry of semen or of relative amounts of sperm-free SP modifies gene expression of these segments, pre-ovulation. It further shows that enriched genes are differentially associated with pathways relating to sperm motility, acrosome reaction, single fertilization, and the regulation of signal transduction GO terms. In particular, the pre-ovulation oviduct stimulates the Catsper channels for sperm Ca2+ influx, with AKAPs, CATSPERs, and CABYR genes being positive regulators while PKIs and CRISP1 genes appear to be inhibitors of the process. We postulate that the stimulation of PKIs and CRISP1 genes in the pre-ovulation sperm reservoir/adjacent isthmus, mediated by SP, act to prevent premature massive capacitation prior to ovulation.

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  • 48.
    Martinez-Serrano, Cristina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Cambra, Josep M.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Parrilla, Inmaculada
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Roca, Jordi
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Ferreira-Dias, Graca
    Univ Lisbon, Portugal.
    Pallares, Francisco J.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Lucas, Xiomara
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Vazquez, Juan M.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Martinez, Emilio A.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Gil, Maria A.
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Cuello, Cristina
    Univ Murcia, Spain; Inst Biomed Res Murcia IMIB Arrixaca, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Seminal Plasma Modifies the Transcriptional Pattern of the Endometrium and Advances Embryo Development in Pigs2019In: Frontiers in Veterinary Science, E-ISSN 2297-1769, Vol. 6, article id 465Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Boar seminal plasma is rich in cytokines, which could influence the capability of spermatozoa to tolerate preservation.

    Objectives: To evaluate the involvement of boar seminal plasma cytokines in the changes experienced by boar spermatozoa during their storage, either in liquid or frozen state.

    Materials and Methods: In two separated experiments, semen samples from healthy and fertile boars were split in two aliquots, one centrifuged twice (1,500 ×g for 10 min) to harvest seminal plasma, whereas the other was either commercially extended (3 × 107 sperm/mL) and liquid-stored at 17°C during 144 h (n = 28, Experiment 1) or frozen-thawed using a standard 0.5 mL protocol (n = 27, Experiment 2). Sixteen cytokines were quantified using Luminex xMAP®. Sperm attributes (CASA-evaluated total and progressive motility; flow cytometry-evaluated sperm viability, production of intracellular H2O2 and O2&#x2022;-" role="presentation" style="box-sizing: border-box; display: inline; line-height: normal; word-spacing: normal; overflow-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; border: 0px; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; position: relative; outline: 0px !important;">O∙−2O2•- and levels of lipid peroxidation in viable spermatozoa) were evaluated either at 0, 72, or 144 h of liquid storage (Experiment 1) or before freezing and at 30- and 150-min post-thawing (Experiment 2).

    Results: Multiple linear regression models, with Bayesian approach for variable selection, revealed that the anti-inflammatory TGF-β2, TGF-β3, IL-1Ra, and IL-4 and the pro-inflammatory IL-8 and IL-18, predicted changes in sperm motility for liquid-stored semen while the anti-inflammatory IFN-γ was included in the models predicting changes in all sperm attributes for cryopreserved semen.

    Conclusion: Specific boar seminal plasma cytokines would contribute to modulate the structural and metabolic changes shown by spermatozoa during preservation, either in liquid or frozen state.

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  • 49.
    Martínez-Pastor, Felipe
    et al.
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, Departments of Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Mata-Campuzano, Maria
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, Departments of Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez, Mercedes
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, León, Spain.
    de Paz, Paulino
    ITRA-ULE, INDEGSAL, Departments of Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), University of León, León, Spain.
    Probes and techniques for sperm evaluation by flow cytometry2010In: Reproduction in domestic animals, ISSN 0936-6768, E-ISSN 1439-0531, Vol. 45 Suppl 2, p. 67-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    CONTENTS: Flow cytometry has become an important technique in sperm evaluation and is increasingly used both for routine assessment and for research in veterinary science. We have revised the literature, describing fluorescent probes that have been used for analysing spermatozoa by flow cytometry, regarding: viability, acrosomal status, capacitation, mitochondrial status, apoptotic markers, oxidative stress markers, DNA damage, sperm counting and sperm sizing. Details and problems of some techniques are reviewed, with special attention to the occurrence of non-sperm particles in the samples ('debris'). New and promising aspects of flow cytometry, such as sperm sorting using viability markers as selection criteria, are highlighted. The relationship between flow cytometry analyses and fertility and their future improvements are considered.

  • 50.
    Martínez-Pastor, Felipe
    et al.
    Department of Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), Universidad de León, Spain; INDEGSAL, Universidad de León, León, Spain.
    Álvarez, Mercedes
    INDEGSAL, Universidad de León, León, Spain; Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, Universidad de León, León, Spain.
    Guerra, Camino
    Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
    Chamorro, César A
    Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, Universidad de León, León, Spain; Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
    Anel-López, Luis
    INDEGSAL, Universidad de León, León, Spain; Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, Universidad de León, León, Spain.
    de Paz, Paulino
    Department of Molecular Biology (Cell Biology), Universidad de León, Spain; INDEGSAL, Universidad de León, León, Spain.
    Anel, Luis
    INDEGSAL, Universidad de León, León, Spain; Department of Medicine, Surgery and Veterinary Anatomy, Universidad de León, León, Spain.
    Alvarez-Rodriguez, Manuel
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Children's and Women's health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. INDEGSAL, Universidad de León, León, Spain; Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
    Extender osmolality, glycerol and egg yolk on the cryopreservation of epididymal spermatozoa for gamete banking of the Cantabric Chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica parva)2019In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 125, p. 109-114, article id S0093-691X(18)30573-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Germplasm banking is a key technology enabling the ex-situ conservation of wild species. However, cryopreservation protocols must be tested to assure the applicability of the banked material. The objective of this study was defining a range of parameters for the composition of a semen extender for Cantabrian chamois epididymal spermatozoa (post-mortem collection). The freezing extender was based in a TES-Tris-fructose buffer, modifying its composition in three experiments: Osmolality of the buffer (320, 380 or 430 mOsm/kg, 8% glycerol, 15% egg yolk), glycerol (4 or 8%, 430 mOsm/kg, 15% egg yolk), egg yolk (10 or 15%, 430 mOsm/kg, 4% glycerol). Sperm was extended at 100 mill. spermatozoa/ml, cooled at 5 °C and frozen at -20 °C/min. Sperm quality was assessed pre and post-thawing (CASA, HOS test, abnormal forms, cytoplasmic droplets, and viability and acrosomal damage by flow cytometry). Freezability was good overall, with total motility of 65.5% ± 2.4 initial and 55.8% ± 2.4 post-thawing. The extenders affected the post-thaw sperm quality marginally. Whereas osmolalities and glycerol concentrations seemed not to differ, 430 mOsm/kg and 4% glycerol might be preferred. Egg yolk concentrations only differed on sperm velocity (VCL: 84.0 ± 6.7 μm/s in 10% vs. 70.7 ± 6.2 μm/s in 15%, P < 0.05). Our results suggest a good cryotolerance of chamois epididymal spermatozoa, with a preferred extender composition of hyperosmotic buffer, glycerol in the 4% range and lower egg yolk (10% range) than other ruminants.

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