Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy among US women. The etiology of this disease, although poorly understood, may involve the ovarian surface epithelium or the epithelium of the fallopian tube fimbriae as the progenitor cell. Disruptions in the transforming growth factor beta (TGF?) pathway and p53 are frequently found in chemotherapy-resistant serous ovarian tumors. Transgenic mice expressing a dominant negative form of Smad2 (Smad2DN), a downstream transcription factor of the TGF? signaling pathway, targeted to tissues of the reproductive tract were created on a FVB background. These mice developed epithelium-lined inclusion cysts, a potential precursor lesion to ovarian cancer, which morphologically resembled oviductal epithelium but exhibited protein expression more closely resembling the ovarian surface epithelium. An additional genetic "hit" of p53 deletion was predicted to result in ovarian tumors. Tissue specific deletion of p53 in the ovaries and oviducts alone was attempted through intrabursal or intraoviductal injection of Cre-recombinase expressing adenovirus (AdCreGFP) into p53 (flox/flox) mice. Ovarian bursal cysts were detected in some mice 6 months after intrabursal injection. No pathological abnormalities were detected in mice with intraoviductal injections, which may be related to decreased infectivity of the oviductal epithelium with adenovirus as compared to the ovarian surface epithelium. Bitransgenic mice, expressing both the Smad2DN transgene and p53 (flox/flox), were then exposed to AdCreGFP in the bursa and oviductal lumen. These mice did not develop any additional phenotypes. Exposure to AdCreGFP is not an effective methodology for conditional deletion of floxed genes in oviductal epithelium and tissue specific promoters should be employed in future mouse models of the disease. In addition, a novel phenotype was observed in mice with high expression of the Smad2DN transgene as validated through qPCR analysis, characterized by teratoma-like lesions implicating Smad signaling in teratoma development.
Project description:Activating mutations of Kras oncogene and deletions of Pten tumor suppressor gene play important roles in cancers of the female genital tract. We developed here new preclinical models for gynecologic cancers, using conditional (Cre-loxP) mice with floxed genetic alterations in Kras and Pten. The triple transgenic mice, briefly called MUC1KrasPten, express human MUC1 antigen as self and carry a silent oncogenic KrasG12D and Pten deletion mutation. Injection of Cre-encoding adenovirus (AdCre) in the ovarian bursa, oviduct or uterus activates the floxed mutations and initiates ovarian, oviductal, and endometrial cancer, respectively. Anatomical site-specific Cre-loxP recombination throughout the genital tract of MUC1KrasPten mice leads to MUC1 positive genital tract tumors, and the development of these tumors is influenced by the anatomical environment. Endometrioid histology was consistently displayed in all tumors of the murine genital tract (ovaries, oviducts, and uterus). Tumors showed increased expression of MUC1 glycoprotein and triggered de novo antibodies in tumor bearing hosts, mimicking the immunobiology seen in patients. In contrast to the ovarian and endometrial tumors, oviductal tumors showed higher nuclear grade. Survival for oviduct tumors was significantly lower than for endometrial tumors (p?=?0.0015), yet similar to survival for ovarian cancer. Oviducts seem to favor the development of high grade tumors, providing preclinical evidence in support of the postulated role of fallopian tubes as the originating site for high grade human ovarian tumors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Fine particulate matter (PM<sub>2.5</sub>) exposure accelerates atherosclerosis and contains known ovotoxic chemicals. However, effects of exposure to PM<sub>2.5</sub> on the finite ovarian follicle pool have hardly been investigated, nor have interactions between ovarian and cardiovascular effects. We hypothesized that subchronic inhalation exposure to human-relevant concentrations of PM<sub>2.5</sub> results in destruction of ovarian follicles via apoptosis induction, as well as accelerated recruitment of primordial follicles into the growing pool. Further, we hypothesized that destruction of ovarian follicles enhances the adverse cardiovascular effects of PM<sub>2.5</sub> in females.<h4>Results</h4>Hyperlipidemic apolipoprotein E (Apoe) null ovary-intact or ovariectomized female mice and testis-intact male mice were exposed to concentrated ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> or filtered air for 12 weeks, 5 days/week for 4 h/day using a versatile aerosol concentration enrichment system. Primordial, primary, and secondary ovarian follicle numbers were decreased by 45%, 40%, and 17%, respectively, in PM<sub>2.5</sub>-exposed ovary-intact mice compared to controls (P < 0.05). The percentage of primary follicles with granulosa cells positive for the mitosis marker Ki67 was increased in the ovaries from PM<sub>2.5</sub>-exposed females versus controls (P < 0.05), consistent with increased recruitment of primordial follicles into the growing pool. Exposure to PM<sub>2.5</sub> increased the percentages of primary and secondary follicles with DNA damage, assessed by γH2AX immunostaining (P < 0.05). Exposure to PM<sub>2.5</sub> increased the percentages of apoptotic antral follicles, determined by TUNEL and activated caspase 3 immunostaining (P < 0.05). Removal of the ovaries and PM<sub>2.5</sub>-exposure exacerbated the atherosclerotic effects of hyperlipidemia in females (P < 0.05). While there were statistically significant changes in blood pressure and heart rate variability in PM<sub>2.5</sub>-compared to Air-exposed gonad-intact males and females and ovariectomized females, the changes were not consistent between exposure years and assessment methods.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results demonstrate that subchronic PM<sub>2.5</sub> exposure depletes the ovarian reserve by increasing recruitment of primordial follicles into the growing pool and increasing apoptosis of growing follicles. Further, PM<sub>2.5</sub> exposure and removal of the ovaries each increase atherosclerosis progression in Apoe-/- females. Premature loss of ovarian function is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease in women. Our results thus support possible links between PM<sub>2.5</sub> exposure and other adverse health outcomes in women.
Project description:Mammalian females are born with a finite number of non-renewing primordial follicles, the majority of which remain in a quiescent state for many years. Due to their non-renewing nature, these “resting” oocytes are particularly vulnerable to xenobiotic insult, resulting in premature ovarian senescence and the formation of dysfunctional oocytes. In this study we characterised the mechanisms of ovotoxicity for the ovotoxic agent 7,12-dimethylbenz-[a]anthracene (DMBA), which targets immature follicles. Neonatal mouse ovaries (PND3-4) were cultured in the presence of DMBA (50nM) or BaP (1uM) for 96 hours to observe their effects on the ovarian transcriptome. This was done in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms underpinning xenobiotic induced pre-antral ovotoxicity. Ovaries from day 3-4 Swiss neonatal mice were cultured in DMBA or BaP containing media for 96 hours. The ovaries were then collected for RNA extraction and hybridization on an Illumina Sentrix Mouse ref-8 v2 Beadchip
Project description:De novo mutations are implicated in a variety of genetic diseases and arise primarily in the male germline. We investigated whether male germ cells have unique mechanisms for spontaneous or chemically-induced mutation relative to somatic cells using the MutaMouse model. We recovered lacZ transgenes from sperm 42 days after a 28-day exposure to benzo(a)pyrene (BaP, 100?mg/kg/day) to assess mutations arising in dividing spermatogonia. BaP caused a 3.4-fold increase in lacZ mutant frequency over controls which increased to 4.1-fold after clonal correction. We then used next generation sequencing to compare the spontaneous and BaP-induced mutation spectra in sperm and bone marrow. The spontaneous spectrum in sperm had significantly more G:C to A:T transitions and fewer mutations at A:T basepairs than bone marrow. BaP predominantly induced G:C to T:A transversions in both cell types, and both were enriched for mutations at CpG dinucleotides. However, BaP induced significantly more deletions in sperm, but more G:C to A:T transitions and G:C to C:G transversions in bone marrow. Differences in error-prone translesion DNA synthesis polymerases may underlie the observed spectrum differences between sperm and bone marrow. These findings suggest that mutations in sperm can arise via mechanisms that are unique to male germ cells.
Project description:The formation of ovarian follicles is a finely tuned process that takes place within a narrow time-window in rodents. Multiple factors and pathways have been proposed to contribute to the mechanisms triggering this process but the role of endocrine factors, especially estrogens, remains elusive. It is currently hypothesized that removal from the maternal hormonal environment permits follicle formation at birth. However, experimentally-induced maintenance of high 17?-estradiol (E2) levels leads to subtle, distinct, immediate effects on follicle formation and oocyte survival depending on the species and dose. In this study, we examined the immediate effects of neonatal E2 exposure from post-natal day (PND) 0 to PND2 on the whole organism and on ovarian follicle formation in rats. Measurements of plasma E2, estrone and their sulfate conjugates after E2 exposure showed that neonatal female rats rapidly acquire the capability to metabolize and clear excessive E2 levels. Concomitant modifications to the mRNA content of genes encoding selected E2 metabolism enzymes in the liver and the ovary in response to E2 exposure indicate that E2 may modify the neonatal maturation of these organs. In the liver, E2 treatment was associated with lower acquisition of the capability to metabolize E2. In the ovary, E2 depleted the oocyte pool in a dose dependent manner by PND3. In 10 µg/day E2-treated ovaries, apoptotic oocytes were observed in newly formed follicles in addition to areas of ovarian cord remodeling. At PND6, follicles without any visible oocyte were present and multi-oocyte follicles were not observed. Our study reveals a major species-difference. Indeed, neonatal exposure to E2 depletes the oocyte pool in the rat ovary, whereas in the mouse it is well known to increase oocyte survival.
Project description:The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is a known developmental gonadotoxicant. However, the mechanism of BaP-induced germ cell death is unclear. We investigated whether exposure to BaP induces apoptotic germ cell death in the mouse fetal ovary or testis. Mouse fetal gonads were dissected at embryonic day 13.5 days postcoitum (dpc) and fixed immediately or cultured for 6, 24, 48, or 72?h with various concentrations of BaP (1-1000?ng/ml). Germ cells numbers, apoptosis, and proliferation were evaluated by immunostaining. Treatment of fetal ovaries with BaP for 72?h concentration-dependently depleted germ cells. Treatment with BaP elevated the expression of BAX protein at 6?h and activated downstream caspases-9 and -3 at 24?h in a concentration-dependent manner in germ cells of fetal ovaries. As a consequence, ovarian germ cell numbers were significantly and concentration-dependently decreased at 48?h. Pretreatment with z-VAD-fmk, a pan-caspase inhibitor, prior to exposure to 1000?ng/ml BaP prevented BaP-mediated ovarian germ cell death; there were no effects of BaP or z-VAD-fmk on germ cell proliferation. No significant effects of BaP exposure on caspase 3 activation or germ cell numbers were observed in fetal testes after 48?h of culture. Our findings show that BaP exposure increases caspase-dependent and BAX-associated germ cell apoptosis in the mouse fetal ovary, leading to germ cell depletion. In contrast, the cultured 13.5 dpc fetal testis is relatively resistant to BaP-induced germ cell death. This study provides a novel insight into molecular mechanisms by which BaP has direct gonadotoxicity in the mouse fetal ovary.
Project description:7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) depletes ovarian follicles and induces DNA damage in extra-ovarian tissues, thus, we investigated ovarian DMBA-induced DNA damage. Additionally, since obesity is associated with increased offspring birth defect incidence, we hypothesized that a DMBA-induced DNA damage response (DDR) is compromised in ovaries from obese females. Wild type (lean) non agouti (a/a) and KK.Cg-Ay/J heterozygote (obese) mice were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1mg/kg; intraperitoneal injection) at 18weeks of age, for 14days. Total ovarian RNA and protein were isolated and abundance of Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm), X-ray repair complementing defective repair in Chinese hamster cells 6 (Xrcc6), breast cancer type 1 (Brca1), Rad 51 homolog (Rad51), poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase 1 (Parp1) and protein kinase, DNA-activated, catalytic polypeptide (Prkdc) were quantified by RT-PCR or Western blot. Phosphorylated histone H2AX (?H2AX) level was determined by Western blotting. Obesity decreased (P<0.05) basal protein abundance of PRKDC and BRCA1 proteins but increased (P<0.05) ?H2AX and PARP1 proteins. Ovarian ATM, XRCC6, PRKDC, RAD51 and PARP1 proteins were increased (P<0.05) by DMBA exposure in lean mice. A blunted DMBA-induced increase (P<0.05) in XRCC6, PRKDC, RAD51 and BRCA1 was observed in ovaries from obese mice, relative to lean counterparts. Taken together, DMBA exposure induced ?H2AX as well as the ovarian DDR, supporting that DMBA causes ovarian DNA damage. Additionally, ovarian DDR was partially attenuated in obese females raising concern that obesity may be an additive factor during chemical-induced ovotoxicity.
Project description:KEY POINTS:Exposure to chronic hypoxia during gestation influences long-term health and development, including reproductive capacity, across generations. If the peri-conceptual environment in the developing oviduct is affected by gestational hypoxia, then this could have implications for later fertility and the health of future generations. In the present study, we show that the oviducts of female rats exposed to chronic hypoxia in utero have reduced telomere length, decreased mitochondrial DNA biogenesis and increased oxidative stress The results of the present study show that exposure to chronic gestational hypoxia leads to accelerated ageing of the oviduct in early adulthood and they help us understand how exposure to hypoxia during development could influence reproductive health across generations. ABSTRACT:Exposure to chronic hypoxia during fetal development has important effects on immediate and long-term outcomes in offspring. Adverse impacts in adult offspring include impairment of cardiovascular function, metabolic derangement and accelerated ovarian ageing. However, it is not known whether other aspects of the female reproductive system may be similarly affected. In the present study, we examined the impact of chronic gestational hypoxia on the developing oviduct. Wistar rat dams were randomized to either normoxia (21%) or hypoxia (13%) from day 6 post-mating until delivery. Post-delivery female offspring were maintained in normoxia until 4 months of age. Oviductal gene expression was assayed at the RNA (quantitative RT-PCR) and protein (western blotting) levels. Oviductal telomere length was assayed using Southern blotting. Oviductal telomere length was reduced in the gestational hypoxia-exposed animals compared to normoxic controls (P < 0.01). This was associated with a specific post-transcriptional reduction in the KU70 subunit of DNA-pk in the gestational hypoxia-exposed group (P < 0.05). Gestational hypoxia-exposed oviducts also showed evidence of decreased mitochondrial DNA biogenesis, reduced mtDNA copy number (P < 0.05) and reduced gene expression of Tfam (P < 0.05) and Pgc1? (P < 0.05). In the hypoxia-exposed oviducts, there was upregulation of mitochondrial-specific anti-oxidant defence enzymes (MnSOD; P < 0.01). Exposure to chronic gestational hypoxia leads to accelerated ageing of the oviduct in adulthood. The oviduct plays a central role in early development as the site of gamete transport, syngamy, and early development; hence, accelerated ageing of the oviductal environment could have important implications for fertility and the health of future generations.
Project description:Oviducts respond to hormonal cues from ovaries with tissue proliferation and differentiation in preparation of transporting and fostering gametes. These responses produce oviducal microenvironments conducive to reproductive success. Here, we investigated changes in circulating plasma sex steroid hormones concentrations and ovarian and oviducal mRNA expression to an in vivo gonadotropin (FSH) challenge in sexually immature, five-month-old alligators. Further, we investigated differences in these observed responses between alligators hatched from eggs collected at a heavily-polluted (Lake Apopka, FL) and minimally-polluted (Lake Woodruff, FL) site. In oviducts, we measured mRNA expression of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors and also beta A and B subunits which homo- or heterodimerize to produce the transforming growth factor activin. In comparison, minimal inhibin alpha subunit mRNA expression suggests that these oviducts produce a primarily activin-dominated signaling milieu. Ovaries responded to a five-day FSH challenge with increased expression of steroidogenic enzyme mRNA which was concomitant with increased circulating sex steroid hormone concentrations. Oviducts in the FSH-challenged Lake Woodruff alligators increased mRNA expression of progesterone and androgen receptors, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and the activin signaling antagonist follistatin. In contrast, Lake Apopka alligators displayed a diminished increase in ovarian CYP19A1 aromatase expression and no increase in oviducal AR expression, as compared to those observed in Lake Woodruff alligators. These results demonstrate that five-month-old female alligators display an endocrine-responsive ovarian-oviducal axis and environmental pollution exposure may alter these physiological responses.