Chemerin, belonging to the adipokine family, exhibits pleiotropic activity. We hypothesised that the adipokine could be involved in the regulation of steroidogenesis in the porcine endometrium. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of chemerin on the key steroidogenic enzyme proteins’ abundance (Western blot), as well as on P4 and E2 secretion (radioimmunoassay) by the porcine endometrium during early pregnancy and the mid-luteal phase of the oestrous cycle. Moreover, we investigated the hormone impact on Erk and Akt signalling pathway activation (Western blot). Chemerin stimulated E2 production on days 10 to 11 of pregnancy. On days 10 to 11 and 15 to 16 of gestation, and on days 10 to 11 of the cycle, chemerin enhanced the expression of StAR and all steroidogenic enzyme proteins. On days 12 to 13 of pregnancy, chemerin decreased StAR and most of the steroidogenic enzyme proteins’ abundance, whereas the P450C17 abundance was increased. On days 27 to 28 of pregnancy, chemerin increased StAR and P450C17 protein contents and decreased 3βHSD protein amounts. It was noted that the adipokine inhibited Erk1/2 and stimulated Akt phosphorylation. The obtained results indicate that chemerin affected P4 and E2 synthesis through the Erk1/2 and Akt signalling pathways.
Background and Objectives: Home fertility assessment methods (FAMs) for natural family planning (NFP) have technically evolved with the objective metrics of urinary luteinizing hormone (LH), estrone-3-glucuronide (E3G) and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (PDG). Practical and reliable algorithms for timing the phase of cycle based upon E3G and PDG levels are mostly unpublished and still lacking. Materials and Methods: A novel formulation to signal the transition to the luteal phase was discovered, tested, and developed with a data set of daily E3G and PDG levels from 25 women, 78 cycles, indexed to putative ovulation (day after the urinary LH surge), Day 0. The algorithm is based upon a daily relative progressive change in the ratio, E3G-AUC/PDG-AUC, where E3G-AUC and PDG-AUC are the area under the curve for E3G and PDG, respectively. To improve accuracy the algorithm incorporated a three-fold cycle-specific increase of PDG. Results: An extended negative change in E3G-AUC/PDG-AUC of at least nine consecutive days provided a strong signal for timing the luteal phase. The algorithm correctly identified the luteal transition interval in 78/78 cycles and predicted the start day of the safe period as: Day + 2 in 10/78 cycles, Day + 3 in 21/78 cycles, Day + 4 in 28/78 cycles, Day + 5 in 15/78 cycles, and Day + 6 in 4/78 cycles. The mean number of safe luteal days with this algorithm was 10.3 ± 1.3 (SD). Conclusions: An algorithm based upon the ratio of the area under the curve for daily E3G and PDG levels along with a relative PDG increase offers another approach to time the phase of cycle. This may have applications for NFP/FAMs and clinical evaluation of ovarian function.
Although relationships between exposure to air pollution and reproductive health are broadly studied, mechanisms behind these phenomena are still unknown. The aim of the study was to assess whether exposure to particulate matter (PM10) and tobacco smoking have an impact on menstrual profiles of 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) and the E2/P ratio.
Levels of sex hormones were measured daily in saliva during the entire menstrual cycle among 132 healthy, urban women. Exposure to smoking (active or passive) was assessed by questionnaire, whilst exposure to PM10 with municipal monitoring data.
During the early luteal phase, profiles of E2 were elevated among women with higher versus lower exposure to PM10 (p = 0.02, post-hoc tests). Among those who were exposed versus unexposed to tobacco smoking, the levels of mean E2 measured during the entire cycle were higher (p = 0.02). The difference in mean E2 levels between the group of joint exposure (i.e. to high PM10 and passive or active smoking) versus the reference group (low PM10, no smoking) was statistically significant at p = 0.03 (18.4 vs. 12.4 pmol/l, respectively). The E2/P ratios were higher among women with higher versus lower exposure to PM10 and this difference was seen only in the early luteal phase (p = 0.01, exploratory post-hoc tests).
We found that PM10 and tobacco smoking affect ovarian hormones independently and do not interact with each other. Both exposures appear to have estrogenic effects even though women's susceptibility to these effects differs across the menstrual cycle. We propose that the hormonal mechanisms are involved in observed relationships between air pollution and smoking with women’s reproductive health.
Progestin-primed ovarian stimulation (PPOS) has been used in infertility cases in recent years, and several reports have stated that it has oocyte collection results similar to those of gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH-ant) protocol. For emergency fertility preservation, random-start ovarian stimulation is usually recommended. Therefore we compared the clinical outcomes of random-start PPOS with those of conventional random-start GnRH-ant protocols in fertility-preserving cases.
We retrospectively examined 86 cycles of oocyte collection, of which 56 were random-start GnRH-ant and 30 were random-start PPOS for fertility preservation at our hospital between January 2016 and April 2021. The primary outcome was the number of mature oocytes per cycle. The secondary outcome was the number of vitrified blastocysts per cycle for embryo freezing cases.
No significant differences were noted in the number of days of stimulation, total dose of gonadotropin preparation, and the number of mature oocytes and vitrified blastocysts. The number of hospital visits for monitoring was significantly lower in the PPOS group. The start of menstruation before oocyte collection was significantly less in the PPOS group.
Random-start PPOS and GnRH-ant were similar in oocyte collection results. PPOS can reduce the number of hospital visits, thus reducing patient stress. PPOS at the start of the luteal phase can prevent the start of menstruation during ovarian stimulation.
Age at first estrus is the earliest phenotypic indicator of future reproductive success of gilts. Prebreeding anestrus is a major reason for reproductive failure leading to culling of replacement gilts. The two types of prebreeding anestrus are delay in attaining puberty (prepubertal anestrus, PPA) and silent ovulation (behavioral anestrus, BA). Neural tissues such as amygdala and hippocampus play a major role in regulating sexual behavior, social interactions, and receptivity to males. Differences in gene expression in the amygdala and hippocampus of gilts were analyzed in three comparisons; 1) PPA cases and cyclic controls at follicular phase of estrous cycle, 2) BA cases and cyclic controls at luteal phase of estrous cycle, and 3) gilts at different stages of the ovarian cycle (cyclic gilts at follicular phase and luteal phase of estrous cycle) to gain functional understanding of how these rarely studied tissues may differ between pubertal phenotypes and different stages of the estrous cycle of gilts. Differentially expressed genes (DEG) between PPA and BA cases and their respective cyclic controls were involved in neurological and behavioral disorders as well as nervous system functions that could directly or indirectly involved in development of behaviors related to estrus. The comparison between cyclic follicular and luteal phase control gilts identified the greatest number of DEG in the hippocampus and amygdala. These DEG were involved in adult neurogenesis and neural synapse (e.g., GABAergic, dopamine, cholinergic) suggesting that these tissues undergo structural changes and synaptic plasticity in gilts. This is the first report to demonstrate that the stage of estrous cycle is associated with dynamic changes in gene expression within porcine hippocampus and amygdala and indicates a role of gonadal steroids in regulating their biology.
Physicians, including gynecologists, who deal with sportswomen, do not always consider in their everyday practice the changes in female reproductive function caused by severe physical exercises. A t the same time, this problem is so important, that in 1992 American College of Sports Medicine introduced the term Female Athlete Triad, describing interrelationships between eating disorders, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. It is well known that menarche in athletes occur later than in sedentary women, 5-50% o f athletes are amenorrheic, anovulation takes place in 16%, luteal phase deficiency -in 4 2 % of female athletes. The high rate of ovarian insufficiency among athletes and theirprobable unfavorable sequelae require the problems in treatment andprevention of reproductive disorders in female athletes to be solved. This must be done within the modem standards of reproductive medicine.
We describe the development of two methods for obtaining confluent monolayers of polarized, differentiated equine oviduct epithelial cells (EOEC) in Transwell inserts and microfluidic chips. EOECs from the ampulla were isolated post-mortem and seeded either (1) directly onto a microporous membrane as differentiated EOECs (direct seeding protocol) or (2) first cultured to a confluent de-differentiated monolayer in conventional wells, then trypsinized and seeded onto a microporous membrane (re-differentiation protocol). Maintenance or induction of EOEC differentiation in these systems was achieved by air-liquid interface introduction. Monolayers cultured via both protocols were characterized by columnar, cytokeratin 19-positive EOECs in Transwell inserts. However, only the re-differentiation protocol could be transferred successfully to the microfluidic chips. Integrity of the monolayers was confirmed by transepithelial resistance measurements, tracer flux and the demonstration of an intimate network of tight junctions. Using the direct protocol, 28% of EOECs showed secondary cilia at the apical surface in a diffuse pattern. In contrast, re-differentiated polarized EOECs rarely showed secondary cilia in either culture system (>90% of the monolayers showed <1% ciliated EOECs). Occasionally (5–10%), re-differentiated monolayers with 11–27% EOECs with secondary cilia in a diffuse pattern were obtained. Additionally, nuclear progesterone receptor expression was found to be inhibited by simulated luteal phase hormone concentrations, and sperm binding to cilia was higher for re-differentiated EOEC monolayers exposed to estrogen-progesterone concentrations mimicking the follicular rather than luteal phase. Overall, a functional equine oviduct model was established with close morphological resemblance to in vivo oviduct epithelium.