Publications by authors named "Marco Berland"

7 Publications

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Distribution of GnRH and Kisspeptin Immunoreactivity in the Female Llama Hypothalamus.

Front Vet Sci 2020 2;7:597921. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Instituto de Ciencia Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.

Llamas are induced non-reflex ovulators, which ovulate in response to the hormonal stimulus of the male protein beta-nerve growth factor (β-NGF) that is present in the seminal plasma; this response is dependent on the preovulatory gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release from the hypothalamus. GnRH neurones are vital for reproduction, as these provide the input that controls the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland. However, in spontaneous ovulators, the activity of GnRH cells is regulated by kisspeptin neurones that relay the oestrogen signal arising from the periphery. Here, we investigated the organisation of GnRH and kisspeptin systems in the hypothalamus of receptive adult female llamas. We found that GnRH cells exhibiting different shapes were distributed throughout the ventral forebrain and some of these were located in proximity to blood vessels; sections of the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) displayed the highest number of cells. GnRH fibres were observed in both the organum vasculosum laminae terminalis (OVLT) and median eminence (ME). We also detected abundant kisspeptin fibres in the MBH and ME; kisspeptin cells were found in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), but not in rostral areas of the hypothalamus. Quantitative analysis of GnRH and kisspeptin fibres in the ME revealed a higher innervation density of kisspeptin than of GnRH fibres. The physiological significance of the anatomical findings reported here for the ovulatory mechanism in llamas is still to be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.597921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884347PMC
February 2021

New insights of the role of β-NGF in the ovulation mechanism of induced ovulating species.

Reproduction 2019 05;157(5):R199-R207

Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, WCVM, Saskatoon, Canada.

The type of stimuli triggering GnRH secretion has been used to classify mammalian species into two categories: spontaneous or induced ovulators. In the former, ovarian steroids produced by a mature follicle elicit the release of GnRH from the hypothalamus, but in the latter, GnRH secretion requires coital stimulation. However, the mechanism responsible for eliciting the preovulatory LH surge in induced ovulators is still not well understood and seems to vary among species. The main goal of this review is to offer new information regarding the mechanism that regulates coitus-induced ovulation. Analysis of several studies documenting the discovery of β-NGF in seminal plasma and its role in the control of ovulation in the llama and rabbit will be described. We also propose a working hypothesis regarding the sites of action of β-NGF in the llama hypothalamus. Finally, we described the presence of β-NGF in the semen of species categorized as spontaneous ovulators, mainly cattle, and its potential role in ovarian function. The discovery of this seminal molecule and its ovulatory effect in induced ovulators challenges previous concepts about the neuroendocrinology of reflex ovulation and has provided a new opportunity to examine the mechanism(s) involved in the cascade of events leading to ovulation. The presence of the factor in the semen of induced as well as spontaneous ovulators highlights the importance of understanding its signaling pathways and mechanism of action and may have broad implications in mammalian fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/REP-18-0305DOI Listing
May 2019

Seminal Plasma Induces Ovulation in Llamas in the Absence of a Copulatory Stimulus: Role of Nerve Growth Factor as an Ovulation-Inducing Factor.

Endocrinology 2016 Aug 29;157(8):3224-32. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria (M.A.B., M.E.S.), Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco, Chile; Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas (ESPE) (C.U.-L.), Quito, Ecuador; Instituto de Inmunología (M.B.), Facultad de Medicina, and Department of Animal Science (M.A.B., M.H.R.), Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile; and Division of Neuroscience (H.W., G.A.D., S.R.O.), Oregon National Primate Research Center, Beaverton, Oregon 97006.

Llamas are considered to be reflex ovulators. However, semen from these animals is reported to be rich in ovulation-inducing factor(s), one of which has been identified as nerve growth factor (NGF). These findings suggest that ovulation in llamas may be elicited by chemical signals contained in semen instead of being mediated by neural signals. The present study examines this notion. Llamas displaying a preovulatory follicle were assigned to four groups: group 1 received an intrauterine infusion (IUI) of PBS; group 2 received an IUI of seminal plasma; group 3 was mated to a male whose urethra had been surgically diverted (urethrostomized male); and group 4 was mated to an intact male. Ovulation (detected by ultrasonography) occurred only in llamas mated to an intact male or given an IUI of seminal plasma and was preceded by a surge in plasma LH levels initiated within an hour after coitus or IUI. In both ovulatory groups, circulating β-NGF levels increased within 15 minutes after treatment, reaching values that were greater and more sustained in llamas mated with an intact male. These results demonstrate that llamas can be induced to ovulate by seminal plasma in the absence of copulation and that copulation alone cannot elicit ovulation in the absence of seminal plasma. In addition, our results implicate β-NGF as an important mediator of seminal plasma-induced ovulation in llamas because ovulation does not occur if β-NGF levels do not increase in the bloodstream, a change that occurs promptly after copulation with an intact male or IUI of seminal plasma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2016-1310DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4967124PMC
August 2016

Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) enhances cumulus cell expansion in bovine oocytes.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2013 Jun 24;11:55. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Background: The objectives of the study were to characterize the expression of the α- and β-subunits of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptor in bovine cumulus cells and oocytes and to determine the effect of exogenous GM-CSF on cumulus cells expansion, oocyte maturation, IGF-2 transcript expression and subsequent competence for embryonic development.

Methods: Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) were obtained by aspirating follicles 3- to 8-mm in diameter with an 18 G needle connected to a vacuum pump at -50 mmHg. Samples of cumulus cells and oocytes were used to detect GM- CSF receptor by immunofluorescence. A dose-response experiment was performed to estimate the effect of GM-CSF on cumulus cell expansion and nuclear/cytoplasmic maturation. Also, the effect of GM-CSF on IGF-2 expression was evaluated in oocytes and cumulus cells after in vitro maturation by Q-PCR. Finally, a batch of COC was randomly assigned to in vitro maturation media consisting of: 1) synthetic oviductal fluid (SOF, n = 212); 2) synthetic oviductal fluid supplemented with 100 ng/ml of GM-CSF (SOF + GM-CSF, n = 224) or 3) tissue culture medium (TCM 199, n = 216) and then subsequently in vitro fertilized and cultured for 9 days.

Results: Immunoreactivity for both α and β GM-CSF receptors was localized in the cytoplasm of both cumulus cells and oocytes. Oocytes in vitro matured either with 10 or 100 ng/ml of GM-CSF presented a higher (P < 0.05) cumulus cells expansion than that of the control group (0 ng/ml of GM-CSF). GM-CSF did not affect the proportion of oocytes in metaphase II, cortical granules dispersion and IGF-2 expression. COC exposed to 100 ng/ml of GM-CSF during maturation did not display significant differences in terms of embryo cleavage rate (50.4% vs. 57.5%), blastocyst development at day 7 (31.9% vs. 28.7%) and at day 9 (17.4% vs. 17.9%) compared to untreated control (SOF alone, P = 0.2).

Conclusions: GM-CSF enhanced cumulus cell expansion of in vitro matured bovine COC. However, GM-CSF did not increase oocyte nuclear or cytoplasmic maturation rates, IGF-2 expression or subsequent embryonic development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7827-11-55DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738149PMC
June 2013

Time exposure period of bovine oocytes to sperm in relation to embryo development rate and quality.

ISRN Vet Sci 2011 24;2011:257627. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Laboratory of Animal Reproduction, Veterinary School, Faculty of Natural Resources, Catholic University of Temuco, P.O. Box 4780000, Temuco, Chile.

The objective of the study was to determine the effect of different bovine gamete coincubation times on fertilization and embryo development performance. In vitro matured COCs were co-incubated with sperm at a concentration of 1.5 × 10(6) spermatozoa/ml in TALP medium for 3 hours (T 3, n = 362), 6 hours (T 6, n = 358), or 18 hours (T 18, n = 350). At the end of the coincubation period COCs from times 3 and 6 groups were post-incubated in a new well of fertilization medium without sperm for additional 15 and 12 h, respectively. Cumulus Oocyte Complexes from the T 18 were co-incubated with the sperm suspension for 18 hours. Presumptive zygotes were cultured for 9 days and embryo development was evaluated on days 2, 8, and 9. Thirty blastocysts from each group were stained and total number of nuclei was recorded. The mean (± SEM) percentages of zygotes to develop into ≥2 cell stage were 71.9 ± 5.0; 72.5 ± 5.3 and 81.2 ± 6.1 % for T 3, 6, and 18, respectively, on day 2 and they did not differ (P = .3) among groups. The mean percentage of blastocysts developed on day 8 (25.6 ± 2.8; 24.2 ± 3.3; 28.4 ± 4.2 % for T 3, 6, and 18, resp.) did not differ (P = .4) among groups. The total number of embryonic nuclei was greater (P < .05) for the blastocysts produced from the shortest co-incubation time (T 3).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/257627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3658476PMC
June 2013

Effect of ovarian superstimulation on COC collection and maturation in alpacas.

Anim Reprod Sci 2007 Feb 10;97(3-4):246-56. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5B4.

The objective of the present study was to compare the ovarian follicular response, cumulus-oocyte complex (COC) collection rate, and maturational status of COC collected from alpacas subsequent to treatment with two different superstimulatory protocols. Alpacas (n=7 per group) were treated with: (1) 200mg of FSH im divided bid for 3d, plus a single i.v. dose of 1000IU hCG 24h after the last FSH treatment, or (2) 1200IU of eCG as a single i.m. dose, plus a single i.v. dose of 1000IU of hCG on day 3 after eCG treatment (day 0=start of superstimulatory treatment). At 20-24h post-hCG treatment, the ovaries were surgically exposed and COC were collected by needle aspiration of all follicles > or =6mm. The FSH and eCG treatment groups did not differ with respect to the number of follicles > or =6mm at the time of COC collection (20.0+/-7.5 versus 27.0+/-3.3; P=0.5), the number of COC collected (26.2+/-8.4 versus 23.3+/-3.7; P=0.7), or the collection rate per follicle aspirated (89% versus 87%; P=0.7). No differences were detected between FSH- and eCG-treated alpacas in the number of expanded COC collected per alpaca (11.5+/-2.9 versus 8.8+/-2.8; P=0.54), the number of expanded COC in metaphase II (8.5+/-1.9 versus 6.0+/-2.1; P=0.1), or the number of compact COC with > or =3 layers of cumulus cells (12.5+/-4.3 versus 14.3+/-2.6; P=0.72). A greater proportion (P<0.05) of compact COC collected after FSH treatment matured in vitro to the metaphase II stage than after eCG treatment. Eight expanded alpaca COC were fertilized in vitro with llama sperm, three of which were fixed and stained 18h after exposure to sperm and five were cultured in vitro. Two of the three stained oocytes were in the pronuclear stage, and all five of the cultured oocytes developed to the two-cell and morula stages at 2 and 7 days, respectively, after in vitro fertilization. In summary, FSH and eCG treatments were equally effective for ovarian superstimulation and oocyte collection. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were collected from more than 80% of follicles aspirated during laparotomy. Nearly one third of the COC collected after superstimulation were in metaphase II, and more than 70% of the remaining COC progressed to metaphase II after in vitro maturation for 26h, bringing the mean number of oocytes available for in vitro fertilization to 16 per alpaca. Preliminary results support the hypothesis that alpaca oocytes obtained after superstimulation in the absence of progesterone are developmentally competent since morulae developed from all five COC fertilized and cultured in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2006.02.002DOI Listing
February 2007

In vitro and in vivo maturation of llama oocytes.

Theriogenology 2005 Jun;63(9):2445-57

Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5B4.

Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) were collected from abbatoir-derived llama ovaries and cultured in vitro for 28, 30, or 36 h at 39 degrees C in 5% CO2 to determine the time required for maturation. The majority of COC (n=298, 87%) were classified as categories 1 and 2 (COC with > or =5 layers or 2-4 compact layers of cumulus cells, respectively) and homogeneous ooplasm, and the proportion that underwent nuclear maturation (MII) was 78, 81 and 80%, after 28, 30 and 36 h, respectively (P=0.65). To compare the effectiveness of FSH versus eCG for inducing in vivo maturation, in experiment 2, llamas (n=20 per group) were treated with: (1) 25 mg FSH, twice-daily for 4 day, plus 5 mg armour of LH at the end of FSH treatment; or (2) 1000 IU of eCG, plus 5 mg armour of LH 4 day after eCG treatment. The FSH- and eCG-treated groups did not differ (P=0.85) with respect to the number of follicles > or =6mm at the time of COC collection (17.9+/-2.2 versus 17.7+/-2.2), the number of COC collected (10.7+/-2.1 versus 11.2+/-2.3 per llama), or the collection rate per follicle aspirated (71 versus 74%). As well, no difference (P=0.49) was detected between the FSH and eCG groups in the number of expanded COC collected (8.3+/-2.1 versus 10.6+/-2.2) or the number of COC at the MII stage (6.9+/-1.8 versus 8.9+/-1.9). In conclusion, llama oocytes reached MII as early as 28 h after in vitro culture and both FSH and eCG were equally effective in inducing ovarian superstimulation. Treatment with LH after either FSH or eCG superstimulation permitted the recovery of a preponderance of expanded COC in metaphase II that may be suitable for in vitro fertilization without in vitro maturation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2004.09.053DOI Listing
June 2005