Background Reproductive efficiency after hydrometra (HD) treatment is usually unsatisfactory.
Methods To identify mechanisms involved in low reproductive efficiency of HD-treated goats, pluriparous dairy goats treated for HD (n=10, HD) or with no reproductive disorders (n=11, control: CONT) were induced to oestrus and superovulated. Goats were mated with fertile bucks and seven days after oestrus, non-surgical embryo recovery was performed. Embryos were evaluated and gene expression was performed.
Results There were no differences (P>0.05) in sexual behaviour parameters, superovulation response, mean number of retrieved structures and viable embryos between groups; although embryo recovery rate was higher (P=0.01) in CONT group. Structures in delayed stage (8–16 cells) were more frequent (P<0.05) in HD (29 vs 1 per cent) goats, as well as the percentage of advanced embryos was greater (P<0.05) for CONT (59.3 vs 33.3 per cent) goats. However, the expression of genes related to apoptosis (BAX and Bcl-2), trophectoderm differentiation (CDX2) and pluripotency maintenance (NANOG) was not affected (P>0.05) in embryos that reached the morulae and blastocyst stages.
Conclusion Although the HD embryos that developed to morula and blastocyst stages showed no change in the expression of genes related to their quality and implantation capacity, overall, embryo development was impaired in HD-treated goats.
- reproductive disorder
- superovulatory protocol
- transcervical embryo collection
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Funding This study was supported by National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq; Project 479826/2013-7), Foundation for Research Support of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG; Project CVZ-PPM 00201-17) and Carlos Chagas Filho Research Support Foundation of Rio de Janeiro State (FAPERJ). ALRSM is a fellow of FAPERJ, JFF of FAPEMIG and CNPq and JMGS-F of FAPERJ and CNPq.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The Animal Care Committee of the Universidade Federal Fluminense approved the study design (protocol no. 5366140319), and it was conducted under the principles of the Brazilian Society of Laboratory Animal Science, which regulates conditions for experiments involving animals.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplementary information. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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