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Department of Animal Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agricultural, Food & Environment

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Herzl 229, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
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Patrizio, P. ; Alexandrova, S. ; Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Roth, Z. ; Zhang, J. J. ; Arav, A. A New Simplified Method For Sperm Preparation (E.Sep) Without Centrifugation: Icsi Outcome Using In Vitro Matured Bovine And Human Oocytes. Fertility And Sterility 2021, 116, E159.
Roth, Z. Heat stress reduces maturation and developmental capacity in bovine oocytes. REPRODUCTION FERTILITY AND DEVELOPMENT 2021, 33, 66-75.Abstract
The ovarian pool of follicles, and their enclosed oocytes, is highly sensitive to hyperthermia. Heat-induced changes in small antral follicles can later manifest as impaired follicle development and compromised competence of the enclosed oocytes to undergo maturation, fertilisation and further development into an embryo. This review describes the main changes documented so far that underlie the oocyte damage. The review discusses some cellular and molecular mechanisms by which heat stress compromises oocyte developmental competence, such as impairment of nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation and mitochondrial function, changes in the expression of both nuclear and mitochondrial transcripts and the induction of apoptosis. The review emphasises that although the oocyte is exposed to heat stress, changes are also evident in the developed embryo. Moreover, the effect of heat stress is not limited to the summer; it carries over to the cold autumn, as manifest by impaired steroid production, low oocyte competence and reduced fertility. The spontaneous recovery of oocytes from the end of the summer through the autumn until the beginning of winter suggests that only subpopulations of follicles, rather than the entire ovarian reserve, are damaged upon heat exposure.
Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Kalo, D. ; Roth, Z. Carryover effect of atrazine and its metabolite-from treated bovine spermatozoa to the embryo's transcriptome. BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION 2021, 104, 1162-1180.Abstract
Atrazine (ATZ) is an extensively used herbicide and ubiquitous environmental contaminant. ATZ and its metabolite, diaminochlorotriazine (DACT), cause several cellular and functional alterations in spermatozoa. We aimed to examine the effect of ATZ/DACT on spermatozoon DNA integrity, fertilization competence, embryonic development, and transcriptome profile of in vitro-produced embryos derived from fertilization with pre-exposed sperm. Bovine spermatozoa exposed to ATZ (0.1 or 1 mu M) or DACT (1 or 10 mu M) during in vitro capacitation were used for in vitro fertilization of untreated oocytes. Cleavage and blastocyst-formation rates were evaluated 42 h and 7 days postfertilization, respectively. The association between DNA fragmentation and apoptosis (annexin V kit) was determined. Fertilization competence of annexin-positive (AV+) and annexin-negative (AV-) spermatozoa was examined. Microarray analysis was performed for 7-day blastocysts. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection was performed with control (AV+, AV-) and DACT (AV+, AV-) spermatozoa. Cleavage rates did not differ between groups and blastocyst formation tended to be higher for AV- vs. AV+ in both control and DACT groups, suggesting that acrosome reaction, rather than DNA fragmentation, underlies the reduced cleavage. Transcriptomic analysis revealed 139 and 230 differentially expressed genes in blastocysts derived from ATZ- and DACT-exposed spermatozoa, respectively, relative to controls. Proteomic analysis shown differential expression of proteins in ATZ- or DACT-treated spermatozoa, in particular proteins related to cellular processes and biological pathways. Therefore, we assume that factors delivered by the spermatozoa, regardless of DNA fragmentation, are also involved. Overall, the current study reveals a deleterious carryover effect of ATZ/DACT from the spermatozoa to the developing embryo. Summary sentence Summary sentence: Atrazine and its metabolite, diaminochlorotriazine, induce multifactorial damage in sperm, which is carried over to the embryo's transcriptome.
Roth, Z. ; Kressel, Y. Z. ; Lavon, Y. ; Kalo, D. ; Wolfenson, D. Administration of GnRH at Onset of Estrus, Determined by Automatic Activity Monitoring, to Improve Dairy Cow Fertility during the Summer and Autumn. ANIMALS 2021, 11.Abstract
Simple Summary We used an automatic activity-monitoring system to determine onset of estrus in dairy cows. Within 5 h of onset, we administered a single injection of GnRH analogue to improve fertility during the summer and autumn. The treatment increased pregnancy per insemination during the autumn, but not in the summer. The subgroups for which the treatment specifically tended to improve conception risk during the autumn were: mature (2nd plus parity) cows and cows with uterine disease and ketosis after calving. Detection of estrus onset by activity monitoring and GnRH administration shortly thereafter could be incorporated into a synchronization program, to improve fertility of positively-responding subpopulations of cows. We examined gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) administration at onset of estrus (OE), determined by automatic activity monitoring (AAM), to improve fertility of dairy cows during the summer and autumn. The study was performed on two dairy farms in Israel. The OE was determined by AAM recorded every 2 h, and a single im dose of GnRH analogue was administered shortly after OE. Pregnancy was determined by transrectal palpation, 40 to 45 d after artificial insemination (AI). Conception risk was analyzed by the GLIMMIX procedure of SAS. Brief visual observation of behavioral estrus indicated that about three-quarters of the events (n = 40) of visually detected OE occurred within 6 h of AAM-detected OE. Accordingly, the GnRH analogue was administered within 5 h of AAM-detected OE, to overlap with the expected endogenous preovulatory LH surge. Overall, pregnancy per AI (P/AI) was monitored over the entire experimental period (summer and autumn) in 233 first, second or third AI (116 and 117 AI for treated and control groups, respectively). Least square means of P/AI for treated (45.8%) and control (39.4%) groups did not differ, but group-by-season interaction tended to differ (p = 0.07), indicating no effect of treatment in the summer and a marked effect of GnRH treatment (n = 58 AI) compared to controls (n = 59 AI) on P/AI in the autumn (56.6% vs. 28.5%, p < 0.03). During the autumn, GnRH-treated mature cows (second or more lactations), and postpartum cows exhibiting metabolic and uterine diseases, tended to have much larger P/AI than their control counterparts (p = 0.07-0.08). No effect of treatment was recorded in the autumn in first parity cows or in uninfected, healthy cows. In conclusion, administration of GnRH within 5 h of AAM-determined OE improved conception risk in cows during the autumn, particularly in those exhibiting uterine or metabolic diseases postpartum and in mature cows. Incorporation of the proposed GnRH treatment shortly after AAM-detected OE into a synchronization program is suggested, to improve fertility of positively responding subpopulations of cows.
Kogan, T. ; Dahan, D. G. ; Laor, R. ; Argov-Argaman, N. ; Zeron, Y. ; Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Kalo, D. ; Roth, Z. Association between Fatty Acid Composition, Cryotolerance and Fertility Competence of Progressively Motile Bovine Spermatozoa. ANIMALS 2021, 11.Abstract
Simple Summary:& nbsp;Spermatozoa move forward in the female reproductive tract in a linear pattern defined as progressive motility (PM). PM is associated with fertilization competence and used as a parameter to evaluate the spermatozoa's quality. The livestock-breeding industry is based on artificial insemination with cryopreserved spermatozoa, making the relationship between PM and cryosurvival important. This study explores the association between PM and spermatozoa's quality, cryotolerance and fertilization competence. The number of progressively motile spermatozoa within a standard insemination straw positively correlates with conception rate, making progressively motile spermatozoa's survival during cryopreservation a potentially relevant parameter for spermatozoa evaluation.
An association between progressive motility (PM) and spermatozoa fertility competence has been suggested. However, the mechanism that underlies PM is not clear enough. We examined physiological characteristics and fatty acid composition of fresh spermatozoa with high and low PM. Additional analysis of fatty acid composition and structural characteristics was performed on spermatozoa samples with high and low progressively motile spermatozoa's survival (PMSS), i.e., the ratio between the proportion of progressively motile spermatozoa after and before cryopreservation. Finally, a fertility field trial was conducted to examine the association between the number of PM spermatozoa within the insemination straw post thawing and conception rate. Analysis of fresh spermatozoa revealed a higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in ejaculates with low PM relative to those with high PM (p < 0.01). The proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids was higher in low-PMSS fresh samples (p < 0.05) relative to their high-PMSS counterparts. Fresh samples with high-PMSS expressed a higher mitochondrial membrane potential (p < 0.05) and a higher proportion of viable cells that expressed reactive oxygen species (ROS; p < 0.05). Post-thawing evaluation revealed a reduced proportion of progressively motile sperm, with a prominent effect in samples with high PM relative to low PM, defined before freezing (p < 0.01). No differences in spermatozoa mitochondrial membrane potential or ROS level were found post-thawing. A fertility study revealed a positive correlation between the number of progressively motile spermatozoa within a standard insemination straw and conception rate (p < 0.05). Considering these, the bull PMSS is suggested to be taken into account at the time of straw preparation.
Arav, A. ; Barak, Y. ; Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Reches, D. ; Kalo, D. ; Roth, Z. ; Natan, Y. ; Patrizio, P. Easy, efficient and safe sperm separation for IUI and IVF. HUMAN REPRODUCTION 2020, 35, 147-148.
Kalo, D. ; Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Roth, Z. Effect of environmental contaminants, alone or in a mixture, on the quality of bovine spermatozoa. ANIMAL REPRODUCTION SCIENCE 2020, 220.
Wintner, O. ; Srebnik, N. ; Kalo, D. ; Roth, Z. ; Buxboim, A. In Situ Mechanical Characterization Predicts the Developmental Potential of Oocytes and Embryos. REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES 2020, 27, 279A.
Yaacobi-Artzi, S. ; Shimoni, C. ; Kalo, D. ; Hansen, P. J. ; Roth, Z. Melatonin slightly alleviates the effect of heat shock on bovine oocytes and resulting blastocysts. THERIOGENOLOGY 2020, 158, 477-489.Abstract
Heat stress is associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and disruption of bovine oocyte function. Here, we examined whether the antioxidant melatonin can alleviate the deleterious effects of heat stress on oocyte developmental competence. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were matured for 22 h at 38.5 degrees C (control) or for 22 h at 41.5 degrees C (heat shock) with or without 1.0 x 10(-7) M melatonin. At the end of maturation, a subgroup of oocytes was examined for nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation, ROS level and mitochondrial membrane potential. A second subgroup of oocytes underwent fertilization (18 h), and putative zygotes were cultured in an incubator equipped with a time-lapse system for similar to 190 h. Cleavage rate and the proportion of blastocysts, as well as embryo kinetics were recorded. Expanded blastocysts were collected and their transcript abundance was evaluated. Heat shock increased ROS and reduced the proportion of oocytes that resumed meiosis and reached the metaphase II stage. Exposing oocytes to heat shock with melatonin alleviated these effects to some extent, expressed by a marginal reduction in ROS level and increased proportion of metaphase-II stage oocytes. Neither the distribution of oocyte cortical granules nor polarization of the mitochondrial membrane differed between control and heat-shocked oocytes cultured with or without melatonin. Heat shock reduced the proportion of embryos that cleaved and developed to blastocysts, characterized by alterations in kinetics of the developed embryos expressed by a delay in the first cleavage, second cleavage and blastocyst formation for heat-shock vs. control groups. Melatonin did not restore the competence or kinetics of embryos developed from heat-shocked oocytes. However, expanded blastocysts developed from heat shocked oocytes treated with melatonin expressed a higher transcript abundance of genes associated with mitochondrial function, relative to the control and heat-shock group. In summary, melatonin improved the oxidative status of heat-shocked oocytes to some extent and had a beneficial effect on maternal mitochondrial transcripts in the developed blastocysts. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roth, Z. Cooling is the predominant strategy to alleviate the effects of heat stress on dairy cows. REPRODUCTION IN DOMESTIC ANIMALS 2020.Abstract
Reduced reproductive performance of lactating cows during the summer is associated mainly with intensive genetic selection for high milk production, which places a great load on the thermoregulatory mechanism. In the last decades, a big effort has been made to explore the mechanism by which heat stress compromises fertility. The data gained so far revealed that the effect of thermal stress on the female reproductive tract is multifactorial in nature. Based on this understanding, new strategies to mitigate the effect of heat stress have been developed. The review summarizes some of the physiological responses of the cow to elevated temperature and discusses its limitations to maintain normothermia. The review emphasizes that cooling is the predominant strategy used today to alleviate the effects of heat stress. Findings from the Israel dairy herd indicate that efficient cooling management can improve milk production during the summer to a similar level of the winter, expressed by summer to winter ratio of 0.98. However, cooling as a singular approach cannot eliminate the decline in reproduction. Nonetheless, an efficient cooling system is a prerequisite for any other strategy. The review suggests additional hormonal treatments to improve reproductive performance during the summer. Given the complexity of heat stress effects on reproduction, comprehensive reproductive management during the summer is suggested, that is combining two or more strategies in a programme, might be more beneficial.
Roth, Z. ; Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Kalo, D. Effect of environmental contamination on female and male gametes - A lesson from bovines. ANIMAL REPRODUCTION 2020, 17.Abstract
Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) and foodborne contaminants are environmental pollutants that are considered reproductive toxicants due to their deleterious effects on female and male gametes. Among the EDCs, the phthalate plasticizers are of growing concern. In-vivo and in-vitro models indicate that the oocyte is highly sensitive to phthalates. This review summarizes the effects of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and its major metabolite mono(2-ethyhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) on the oocyte. MEHP reduces the proportion of oocytes that fertilize, cleave and develop to the blastocyst stage. This is associated with negative effects on meiotic progression, and disruption of cortical granules, endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial reorganization. MEHP alters mitochondrial membrane polarity, increases reactive oxygen species levels and induces alterations in genes associated with oxidative phosphorylation. A carryover effect from the oocyte to the blastocyst is manifested by alterations in the transcriptomic profile of blastocysts developed from MEHP-treated oocytes. Among foodborne contaminants, the pesticide atrazine (ATZ) and the mycotoxin aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) are of high concern. The potential hazards associated with exposure of spermatozoa to these contaminants and their carryover effect to the blastocyst are described. AFB1 and ATZ reduce spermatozoa's viability, as reflected by a high proportion of cells with damaged plasma membrane; induce acrosome reaction, expressed as damage to the acrosomal membrane; and interfere with mitochondrial function, characterized by hyperpolarization of the membrane. ATZ and AFB1-treated spermatozoa show a high proportion of cells with fragmented DNA. Exposure of spermatozoa to AFB1 and ATZ reduces fertilization and cleavage rates, but not that of blastocyst formation. However, fertilization with AFB1- or ATZ-treated spermatozoa impairs transcript expression in the formed blastocysts, implying a carryover effect. Taken together, the review indicates the risk of exposing farm animals to environmental contaminants, and their deleterious effects on female and male gametes and the developing embryo.
Roth, Z. Influence of heat stress on reproduction in dairy cows-physiological and practical aspects. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE 2020, 98, S80-S87.
Roth, Z. Reproductive physiology and endocrinology responses of cows exposed to environmental heat stress- Experiences from the past and lessons for the present. THERIOGENOLOGY 2020, 155, 150-156.Abstract
The effects of environmental heat-stress on production and reproduction in dairy cows have been intensively studied throughout the past few decades. In light of climate changes and global warming, this issue has gained attention worldwide. So far, most of the documentations are related to warmer-climate regions, however, environmental thermal stress has recently been reported in cooler regions, such as Europe. The review attempts to present the experiences from the past years and lessons for the present. The review highlights some of the environmental characterizations and provides some practical approaches to estimate the level of heat load on farms. For instance, the intensity of heat stress can be evaluated by the temperature humidity index (THI). Other environmental parameters, such as the increased number of consecutive hot days or the increased frequency of extremely hot days, can be also used to estimate the level of heat load on farms. Exposure of dairy cows to environmental thermal stress results in multiple behavioral changes, physiological responses and endocrinological alterations, which in sequence, lead to reduced reproductive performance. Multiple in-vitro studies have been performed for better understanding the mechanism by which heat stress impairs reproductive processes. However, the current review focuses mainly on animal reactions and on the limitations of physiological and behavioral responses in main-taining normothermia, without human intervention. The review provides evidence that thermal stress induces alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. For instance, impaired gonadotropin secretion, attenuation of follicular development, reduced steroid production and progesterone concen-tration in the plasma. These were found to be associated with impaired estrus behavior, reduced oocyte developmental competence and embryo survival. Heat stress also has direct and indirect effects on the preimplantation embryo. The review summarizes the thermo-sensitivity of the embryo and the acqui-sition of its thermotolerance through early developmental stages. Understanding the effects of environmentally elevated temperature on the reproductive physiology of lactating cows is extremely important for the development of new strategies in order to mitigate the effects of heat stress on farms. The review also provides various types of management and practical tools, in order to alleviate the effects of thermal stress. It introduces some approaches that have been developed during recent years, ones that have been practically used to alleviate the effect of the environmental heat load and suggested to be implanted. Cooling is the predominant strategy used nowadays in order to alleviate the effects of heat stress. It includes indirect cooling of the environment surrounding the animal, by providing shed and ventilation (with or without water) or direct evaporative cooling of the cow with water and fans. Using an efficient cooling system can improve milk production during the hot season, but it cannot eliminate the decline in reproduction. The review also discusses some additional approaches such as timed artificial insemination, hormonal treatment and embryo transfer, which have already been developed. These are suggested to be examined, adapted and implemented in dairy farms located in new regions that have recently suffered from environmental heat stress. The review also discusses unclear points and open questions some of which might lead new research directions. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Kalo, D. ; Roth, Z. Aflatoxin B1-induced alteration of spermatozoa's proteomic profile is associated with alterations in the transcriptomic profile of in-vitro-derived blastocysts. ANIMAL REPRODUCTION SCIENCE 2020, 220.
Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Kalo, D. ; Roth, Z. Effect of aflatoxin B1 on bovine spermatozoa's proteome and embryo's transcriptome. REPRODUCTION 2020, 160, 709-723.Abstract
This study aims to evaluate the deleterious effect of the mycotoxin aflatoxin 81 (AFB1) on bull spermatozoa and the carryver effect on the developing embryo. Proteomic analysis of AFB1-treated spermatozoa revealed differential expression of proteins associated with biological processes and cellular pathways that involved in spermatozoon function, fertilization competence and embryonic development. Therefore, we assume that factors delivered by the spermatozoa, regardless of DNA fragmentation, are also involved. To confirm this hypothesis, we have used the annexin V (AV) kit to separate the spermatozoa into apoptotic (AV+) and non-apoptotic (AV-) subpopulations which were found to correlate with high- and low DNA fragmentation, respectively. Fertilization with AV+ AFB1-treated spermatozoa, resulted in no blastocyst formation, whereas fertilization with AV- spermatozoa resulted in reduced cleavage rate and formation of genetically altered blastocysts (POU5F1 and SOX2). Microarray analysis of blastocysts derived from 10 mu M AFB1-treated spermatozoa revealed differential expression of 345 genes that involved in cellular pathways such as embryo and placenta development, cell cycle, DNA repair and histone modification, and in signaling pathways, especially calcium signaling pathway. This is the first report on deleterious carrying over effects of AFB1 from the bovine spermatozoa to the formed embryo. Our findings suggest that aside from the damage caused by AFB1 to spermatozoa's DNA integrity, additional damage mechanisms are involved.
Hadaya, O. ; Bransi-Nicola, R. ; Shalev, Y. ; Azaizeh, H. ; Roth, Z. ; Muklada, H. ; Deutch, T. ; Landau, S. Y. ; Argov-Argaman, N. Pistacia lentiscus extract enhances mammary epithelial cells' productivity by modulating their oxidative status. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2020, 10.Abstract
We assessed the potential of phenolic compounds from Pistacia lentiscus (lentisk) to enhance production of milk constituents in bovine mammary epithelial cells (MEC). MEC were exposed to 0 (control), 1 or 10 ppm of polyphenols from lentisk ethanolic extract (PLEE) for 24 h. PLEE were absorbed by the MEC plasma membrane, but also penetrated the cell to accumulate in and around the nucleus. PLEE increased triglyceride content in the cell and its secretion to the medium, and significantly increased intracellular lipid droplet diameter. Compared to control, PLEE increased dose-dependently the lactose synthesis, secretion of whey proteins, and contents of casein. To evaluate mitochondrial activity under pro-oxidant load, MEC were preincubated with PLEE and exposed for 2 h to H2O2. Exposure to H2O2 increased the proportion of cells with impaired mitochondrial membrane potential twofold in controls, but not in PLEE-pre-treated cells. Accordingly, proton leakage was markedly decreased by PLEE, and coupling efficiency between the respiratory chain and ATP production was significantly enhanced. Thus, lentisk polyphenols divert energy to production of milk fat, protein and lactose, with less energy directed to cellular damage control; alternatively, PLEE enables MEC to maintain energy and oxidative status under extreme metabolic rate required for milk production and secretion, and reduces the limitation on energy required to support production.
Argov-Argaman, N. ; Raz, C. ; Roth, Z. Progesterone Regulation of Milk Fat Globule Size Is VLDL Dependent. FRONTIERS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY 2020, 11.Abstract
Progesterone plays a pivotal role during mammogenesis and serves as an inhibitor of the secretory activation of mammary cells in the last days of gestation. However, its role during lactogenesis, in particular its involvement in lipid metabolism, and milk fat content and composition, is unknown. Here, we provide new evidence of progesterone's involvement in the regulation of milk fat globule (MFG) synthesis and secretion. Findings from bothin vivoandin vitrostudies indicated that the concentration and the direction (increase vs. decrease) of progesterone concentration to which the mammary epithelial cells (MECs) are exposed affect MFG size. This was found to be very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) dependent: in the presence of VLDL, the proportion of MEC with small lipid droplets (<1 mu m) increased 2.4-fold, and the proportion of large lipid droplets (>1 mu m) increased 4-fold; in the absence of VLDL, no differences were found. The findings add to our understanding of the mechanism underlying the regulation of MFG size and provide new evidence for progesterone's role in lipid metabolism in the mammary gland during lactogenesis. The fact that the size, synthesis, and composition of MFG are affected by the cyclic pattern of progesterone concentration in the circulation might have physiologically relevant consequences, in particular on milk as a nutritional source.
Roth, Z. ; Dvir, A. ; Furman, O. ; Lavon, Y. ; Kalo, D. ; Leitner, G. ; Wolfenson, D. Oocyte maturation in plasma or follicular fluid obtained from lipopolysaccharide-treated cows disrupts its developmental competence. Theriogenology 2020, 141, 120-127. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Mastitis has deleterious effects on ovarian function and reproductive performance. We studied the association between plasma or follicular fluid (FF) obtained from endotoxin-induced mastitic cows, and oocyte developmental competence. Lactating Holstein cows were synchronized using the Ovsynch protocol. On Day 6 of the synchronized cycle, an additional PGF2α dose was administered, and either Escherichia coli endotoxin (LPS, 10 μg; n = 3 cows) or saline (n = 3 cows) was administered to one udder quarter per cow, 36 h later. Milk samples were collected and rectal temperatures recorded. Cows treated with LPS showed a typical transient increase in body temperature (40.3 °C ± 0.4), whereas cows treated with saline maintained normal body temperature (38.9 °C ± 0.04). A higher (P < 0.05) somatic cell count was recorded for cows treated with LPS. Plasma samples were collected and FF was aspirated from the preovulatory follicles by transvaginal ultrasound probe, 6 h after LPS administration. Radioimmunoassay was performed on plasma samples to determine estradiol and cortisol concentrations. Either FF or plasma was further used as maturation medium. In the first experiment, oocytes were matured in TCM-199 (Control) or in FF aspirated from cows treated with saline (FF-Saline) or LPS (FF-LPS). Cleavage rate to the 2- to 4-cell stage embryo did not differ among groups. However, the proportion of developed blastocysts on Day 7 postfertilization in the FF-LPS group tended to be lower for that in FF-Saline and was lower (P < 0.05) than that in the Control groups (10.6 vs. 22.4 and 24.4%, respectively). In the second experiment, oocytes were matured in TCM-199 (Control), or in plasma obtained from cows treated with saline (Plasma-Saline) or LPS (Plasma-LPS). Similar to the FF findings, cleavage rate did not differ among groups; however, the proportion of developing blastocysts tended to be lower in the Plasma-LPS group than in the Plasma-Saline group and was lower (P < 0.05) from that in the Control group (11.0 vs. 25.5 and 34.7%, respectively). The proportion of apoptotic cells per blastocyst, determined by TUNEL assay, did not differ among the experimental groups. The findings shed light on the mechanism by which mastitis induces a disruption in oocyte developmental competence. Further studies are required to clarify whether the negative effect on oocyte developmental competence is a result of LPS, by itself, or due to elevation of secondary inflammatory agents. © 2019
Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Saktsier, M. ; Biran, D. ; Argov-Argaman, N. ; Azaizeh, H. ; Landau, Y. S. ; Roth, Z. Atrazine-induced toxicity in goat spermatozoa is alleviated to some extent by polyphenol-enriched feed. Chemosphere 2019, 236. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Atrazine (ATZ) is one of the most extensively used herbicides to control growth of broadleaf and grassy weeds in crops. ATZ and its metabolites have deleterious effect on sperm quality. ATZ is also known for its ability to induce oxidative stress. Pistacia lentiscus (PL) is an evergreen shrub, with a high content of polyphenols in leaf extracts, with a known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The protective effect of PL or its extracts against ATZ-induced damage have not been yet evaluated. We examined the harmful effects of atrazine (ATZ) exposure on male reproductive system, using goat (Capra hircus) model spermatozoa and the protective effects of PL and PL ethanolic extract (PLE). In in-vivo experiments, male goats were fed a standard ration or one supplemented with 15 mg ATZ/kg body weight daily, for 6 months. Exposure to ATZ impaired the spermatozoa's morphology, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential and cell lipid composition. These alterations may in turn lead to reduced fertilization competence of the exposed spermatozoa. In an ex-vivo experiment, spermatozoa from male goats fed a standard ration or one supplemented with PL or PLE for 90 days and then were exposed to 1 μM ATZ or 10 μM of its major metabolite diaminochlorotriazine (DACT) through in-vitro capacitation. Prefeeding with PL or PLE partially attenuated the harmful effects of ATZ and DACT. Dietary supplementation with polyphenol-enriched feed can protect, to a certain extent, spermatozoa in males exposed to environmental toxicants. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd
Komsky-Elbaz, A. ; Zubov, A. ; Roth, Z. Effect of the herbicide atrazine and its major metabolite, DACT, on bovine sperm cryotolerance. Theriogenology 2019, 140, 117-123. Publisher's VersionAbstract
During freezing and thawing procedures, sperm are exposed to chemical and/or physical stressors that may cause adverse and harmful changes to sperm membranes. Accurate evaluation of the structural and functional integrity of fresh as well as cryopreserved sperm is highly important in predicting sperm fertilization capacity and success of artificial insemination (AI). The herbicide atrazine (ATZ) and its major metabolite, diaminochlorotriazine (DACT) are considered a ubiquitous environmental contaminants and endocrine disruptors, which deleteriously effect sperm function. Taking into consideration possible damage caused by environmental contaminants to sperm membranes, additive effects during cryopreservation cannot be ruled out. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of ATZ (0.1 or 1 μM) and DACT (1 or 10 μM) exposure during or after cryopreservation on bovine sperm cryotolerance. Sperm membrane integrity and functionality were evaluated using fluorimetric probes: (1) double-stranded DNA was examined by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; (2) plasma membrane integrity was examined by propidium iodide; (3) acrosome reaction (AR) was examined by fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated Pisum sativum agglutinin; mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) was examined by 5,5′,6,6′-tetra-chloro-1,1′,3,3′-tetraethylbenzimidazolyl carbocyanine iodide fluorescent probe. The findings demonstrate, that exposure of sperm to ATZ (0.1 or 1 μM) or DACT (1 or 10 μM) during cryopreservation increased the proportion of dead sperm relative to the control (P < 0.09); exposure to DACT (1 or 10 μM) increased ΔΨm (P < 0.03). Neither ATZ nor DACT affected spontaneous AR. In contrast, the proportion of sperm with Ca++ ionophore-induced AR was lower after exposure to 1 μM DACT (P < 0.05). Following freezing and thawing procedures, exposing sperm to 1 μM ATZ increased the proportion of dead sperm relative to the control (P < 0.05), but had no significant effect on sperm ΔΨm or AR. In conclusion, exposing sperm to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as ATZ or DACT during cryopreservation reduces sperm cryotolerance and resistance post-thawing. © 2019