Discovery of predictive biomarkers for litter size in boar spermatozoa.
ABSTRACT: Conventional semen analysis has been used for prognosis and diagnosis of male fertility. Although this tool is essential for providing initial quantitative information about semen, it remains a subject of debate. Therefore, development of new methods for the prognosis and diagnosis of male fertility should be seriously considered for animal species of economic importance as well as for humans. In the present study, we applied a comprehensive proteomic approach to identify global protein biomarkers in boar spermatozoa in order to increase the precision of male fertility prognoses and diagnoses. We determined that l-amino acid oxidase, mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase 2, NAD (MDH2), cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase 1B, lysozyme-like protein 4, and calmodulin (CALM) were significantly and abundantly expressed in high-litter size spermatozoa. We also found that equatorin, spermadhesin AWN, triosephosphate isomerase (TPI), Ras-related protein Rab-2A (RAB2A), spermadhesin AQN-3, and NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] iron-sulfur protein 2 (NDUFS2) were significantly and abundantly expressed in low-litter size spermatozoa (>3-fold). Moreover, RAB2A, TPI, and NDUFS2 were negatively correlated with litter size, whereas CALM and MDH2 were positively correlated. This study provides novel biomarkers for the prediction of male fertility. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that shows significantly increased litter size using male fertility biomarkers in a field trial. Moreover, these protein markers may provide new developmental tools for the selection of superior sires as well as for the prognosis and diagnosis of male fertility.
Project description:Conventional semen analyses are used to evaluate male factor fertility/infertility in humans and other animals. However, their clinical value remains controversial. Therefore, new tools that more accurately assess male fertility based on sperm function and fertilization mechanism are of interest worldwide. While protein markers in spermatozoa that might help differentiate fertile and infertile sperm have been identified, studies are in their infancy, and the markers require validation in field trials. In the present study, to discover more sensitive biomarkers in spermatozoa for predicting male fertility, we assessed protein expression in capacitated spermatozoa. The results demonstrated that cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 2 (UQCRC2) was abundantly expressed in high-litter size spermatozoa (>3-fold). On the other hand, equatorin, beta-tubulin, cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 1 (UQCRC1), speriolin, Ras-related protein Rab-2A (RAB2A), spermadhesin AQN-3, and seminal plasma sperm motility inhibitor were abundantly expressed in low-litter size spermatozoa (>3-fold). Moreover, RAB2A and UQCRC1 expression negatively correlated with litter size, while UQCRC2 expression positively correlated with litter size. Finally, the putative biomarkers predicted litter size in field trials. Our study suggests that biomarkers present in spermatozoa after capacitation can help differentiate superior male fertility from below-average fertility with high sensitivity.
Project description:The ability to predict male fertility is of paramount importance for animal breeding industries and for human reproduction. Conventional semen analysis generally provides information on the quantitative parameters of spermatozoa, but yields no information concerning its functional competence. Proteomics have identified candidates for male fertility biomarkers, but no studies have clearly identified the relationship between the proteome and sperm fertility. Therefore, we performed a proteomic analysis to investigate small and large litter size boar spermatozoa and identify proteins related to male fertility. In this study, 20 proteins showed differential expression levels in small and large litter size groups. Nineteen of these proteins exhibited decreased expression in large litter size samples and increased expression in the small litter group. Interestingly, only one protein was highly expressed in the large litter size spermatozoa. We then identified signaling pathways associated with the differentially expressed protein markers. Glutathione S-transferase Mu3 and glutathione peroxidase 4 were related to the glutathione metabolic pathway and arginine vasopressin receptor 2 was linked to vasopressin R2/STAT. In summary, this is the first study to consider negative fertility biomarkers, and the identified proteins could potentially be used as biomarkers for the detection of inferior male fertility.
Project description:Recent studies have demonstrated the significance of sperm RNA function as a transporter of important information directing the course of life. To determine the message contained in sperm RNA, it is necessary to optimize transcriptomic research tools. The current study was performed to optimize the processing of sperm RNA from sample storage to quantitative real-time PCR and assess the corresponding method with to evaluate male fertility and its representative markers, equatorin (EQTN) and peroxiredoxin (PRDX). Following successive steps of the Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments guidelines, several options were compared using boar spermatozoa. To evaluate the optimized procedures, the relationship between mRNA expression of EQTN and PRDX in spermatozoa and the fertility (litter size) of 20 individual boars was assessed. Unexpectedly, DNase treatment during RNA isolation had the deleterious effect by decreasing the RNA concentration by 56% and eliminating the correlation between EQTN and PRDX4 mRNA expression and male fertility. Moreover, when sperm RNA was processed using the corresponding method, the results showed the highest exon sequence expression, male fertility prediction power, and consistency. This optimized protocol for predicting male fertility can be used to study the transport of messages directing the life course from spermatozoon to offspring.
Project description:Estrogen, through its receptors, regulates various aspects of spermatogenesis and male fertility. To understand the roles of estrogen receptors (ER? and ER?) in male fertility, we have developed in vivo selective ER agonist administration models. Treatment of adult male rats with ER? or ER? agonist for 60 d decreases fertility and litter size mainly due to increased pre- and post-implantation embryo loss. Since epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation play a crucial role in male fertility, we investigated the effects of the ER agonists on DNA methylation in spermatozoa. Treatment with ER? agonist causes a significant decrease in DNA methylation both at the global level and at the H19 differentially methylated region (DMR). This could be due to decrease in DNA methyltransferases in the testis upon ER? agonist treatment. The hypomethylation observed at the H19 DMR corroborates with aberrant expression of Igf2 and H19 imprinted genes in the resorbed embryos sired by ER? agonist-treated males. Thus, our study demonstrates that ER? regulates DNA methylation and methylating enzymes during adult rat spermatogenesis. Activation of estrogen signaling through ER? could therefore cause DNA methylation defects leading to impaired male fertility. These results define a role for estrogen in epigenetic regulation of male germ line, suggesting that epigenetic insults by exposure to environmental estrogens could potentially affect male fertility.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Male infertility is a major problem for mammalian reproduction. However, molecular details including the underlying mechanisms of male fertility are still not known. A thorough understanding of these mechanisms is essential for obtaining consistently high reproductive efficiency and to ensure lower cost and time-loss by breeder. RESULTS: Using high and low fertility bull spermatozoa, here we employed differential detergent fractionation multidimensional protein identification technology (DDF-Mud PIT) and identified 125 putative biomarkers of fertility. We next used quantitative Systems Biology modeling and canonical protein interaction pathways and networks to show that high fertility spermatozoa differ from low fertility spermatozoa in four main ways. Compared to sperm from low fertility bulls, sperm from high fertility bulls have higher expression of proteins involved in: energy metabolism, cell communication, spermatogenesis, and cell motility. Our data also suggests a hypothesis that low fertility sperm DNA integrity may be compromised because cell cycle: G2/M DNA damage checkpoint regulation was most significant signaling pathway identified in low fertility spermatozoa. CONCLUSION: This is the first comprehensive description of the bovine spermatozoa proteome. Comparative proteomic analysis of high fertility and low fertility bulls, in the context of protein interaction networks identified putative molecular markers associated with high fertility phenotype.
Project description:Male fertility, the ability of sperm to fertilize and activate the egg and support early embryogenesis, is vital for mammalian reproduction. Despite producing adequate numbers of sperm with normal motility and morphology, some males suffer from low fertility whose molecular mechanisms are not known. The objective was to determine apoptosis in sperm from high and low fertility bulls and its relationship with male fertility. DNA damage, phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation, and expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins (BAX and BCL-2) in the sperm were determined using TUNEL, Annexin V, and immunoblotting approaches, respectively. Amounts of apoptotic spermatozoa were 2.86 (± 1.31) and 3.00 (± 0.96) in high and low fertility bulls, respectively (P=0.548), and were not correlated with fertility. There was a negative correlation between early necrotic spermatozoa and viable spermatozoa (r = -0.99, P<0.0001). Fertility scores were correlated with live spermatozoa detected by eosin-nigrosin test and necrotic spermatozoa determined via flow cytometry (r = -0.49, P<0.006 and r = -0.266, P<0.0113, respectively). BAX level was higher in low fertile group than high fertile group; however, this difference was not statistically significant due to the variations of bull samples (Bull 1-3 vs. Bull 4-5) in low fertile group (P<0.283). BCL-2 was not detectable in any of the sperm samples. The results shed light onto molecular and cellular underpinnings of male fertility.
Project description:Maternal exposure to the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to offspring reproductive abnormalities. However, exactly how BPA affects offspring fertility remains poorly understood.The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of gestational BPA exposure on sperm function, fertility, and proteome profile of F1 spermatozoa in adult mice.Pregnant CD-1 mice (F0) were gavaged with BPA at three different doses (50 ?g/kg bw/day, 5 mg/kg bw/day, and 50 mg/kg bw/day) on embryonic days 7 to 14. We investigated the function, fertility, and related processes of F1 spermatozoa at postnatal day 120. We also evaluated protein profiles of F1 spermatozoa to monitor their functional affiliation to disease.BPA inhibited sperm count, motility parameters, and intracellular ATP levels in a dose-dependent manner. These effects appeared to be caused by reduced numbers of stage VIII seminiferous epithelial cells in testis and decreased protein kinase A (PKA) activity and tyrosine phosphorylation in spermatozoa. We also found that BPA compromised average litter size. Proteins differentially expressed in spermatozoa from BPA treatment groups are known to play a critical role in ATP generation, oxidative stress response, fertility, and in the pathogenesis of several diseases.Our study provides mechanistic support for the hypothesis that gestational exposure to BPA alters sperm function and fertility via down-regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation through a PKA-dependent mechanism. In addition, we anticipate that the BPA-induced changes in the sperm proteome might be partly responsible for the observed effects in spermatozoa. Citation: Rahman MS, Kwon WS, Karmakar PC, Yoon SJ, Ryu BY, Pang MG. 2017. Gestational exposure to bisphenol-A affects the function and proteome profile of F1 spermatozoa in adult mice. Environ Health Perspect 125:238-245;?http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP378.
Project description:Chlamydia trachomatis is the most prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial infection. However, whether Chlamydia trachomatis has a negative impact on sperm quality and male fertility is still controversial. Herein, we report the effects on sperm quality of the in vitro exposure of spermatozoa to Chlamydia trachomatis, and also the effects of male genital infection on male fertility using an animal model. Human and mouse sperm were obtained from healthy donors and cauda epididimys from C57BL/6 mice, respectively. Highly motile human or mouse spermatozoa were in vitro exposed to C. trachomatis (serovar E or LGV) or C. muridarum, respectively. Then, sperm quality parameters were analyzed. Moreover, male fertility of Chlamydia muridarum infected male C57BL/6 mice was assessed. Human or murine sperm in vitro exposed to increasing bacterial concentrations or soluble factors from C. trachomatis or C. muridarum, respectively, did not show differences in sperm motility and viability, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation, ROS production and lipid peroxidation levels, when compared with control sperm (p?>?0.05). Moreover, no differences in fertility parameters (potency, fecundity, fertility index, pre- and post-implantation loss) were observed between control and infected males. In conclusion, our results indicate that Chlamydia spp. neither directly exerts deleterious effects on spermatozoa nor impairs male fertility.
Project description:Estrogen receptors (ESR1 and ESR2) play crucial roles in various processes during spermatogenesis. To elucidate individual roles of ESRs in male fertility, we developed in vivo selective ESR agonist administration models. Adult male rats treated with ESR1 and ESR2 agonist for 60 days show spermatogenic defects leading to reduced sperm counts and fertility. While studying epigenetic changes in the male germ line that could have affected fertility, we earlier observed a decrease in DNA methylation and its machinery upon ESR2 agonist treatment. Here, we explored the effects on histone modifications, which could contribute to decreased male fertility upon ESR agonist administration. ESR1 agonist treatment affected testicular levels of histone modifications associated with active and repressed chromatin states, along with heterochromatin marks. This was concomitant with deregulation of corresponding histone modifying enzymes in the testis. In addition, there was increased retention of histones along with protamine deficiency in the caudal spermatozoa after ESR1 agonist treatment. This could be due to the observed decrease in several chromatin remodeling proteins implicated in mediating histone-to-protamine exchange during spermiogenesis. The activating and repressing histone marks in spermatozoa, which play a critical role in early embryo development, were deregulated after both the ESR agonist treatments. Together, these epigenetic defects in the male germ line could affect the spermatozoa quality and lead to the observed decrease in fertility. Our results thus highlight the importance of ESRs in regulating different epigenetic processes during spermatogenesis, which are crucial for male fertility.
Project description:The genetic-based sterile insect technique (SIT) is an effective and environmentally safe strategy to diminish populations of agricultural and horticultural insect pests. Functional characterization of genes related to male fertility can enhance the genetic-based SIT. Tssk1 has been involved to control male fertility in both mammals and insects. Moreover, Tektin1 has also been revealed to influence male fertility in both human and mammals. These findings suggested that Tssk1 and Tektin1 identified from Bactrocera dorsalis could be required for male fertility in B. dorsalis. In this study, expression profiles of these two genes were studied at different developmental stages and in various tissues of adult males. Remarkably, it was found that Tssk1 and Tektin1 were highly expressed in the testis of mature adult males of B. dorsalis. Furthermore, Tssk1 and Tektin1 genes were downregulated by using the RNA interference (RNAi) method. Fertility assays including egg laying, hatching, and spermatozoa count were also performed to investigate male fertility of B. dorsalis. Results showed that knockdown of Tssk1 and Tektin1 caused male sterility up to 58.99% and 64.49%, respectively. As expected, the total numbers of spermatozoa were also significantly reduced by 65.83% and 73.9%, respectively. These results suggested that male sterility was happened wing to the low number of spermatozoa. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Tssk1 and Tektin1 are the novel agents that could be used to enhance the genetic-based SIT, or their double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) can be used as biopesticides to control the population of B. dorsalis.