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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Barbara Wąsowska
Beata Ludkiewicz
Stanisława Stefańczyk-Krzymowska
W. Grzegorzewski
, and
Janina Skipor

It has been reported that apoptosis plays an essential role in controlling the physiological cell kinetics in the human and rodent endometrium but this type of death has never been studied in the porcine endometrium. The aim of this study was to investigate the apoptotic cell death in the porcine endometrium during the middle (Days 9–11) and late (Day 13) luteal phase, during the luteolysis (Day 15) and early follicular phase (Days 17–19) of the oestrous cycle. Apoptotic cells were identified by in situ DNA 3′-end labelling method. it was revealed that the greatest number of apoptotic cells in the luminal and glandular epithelium was found on Days 17–19 and on Day 15 of the oestrous cycle, respectively. in the stroma, the greatest number of these cells was found on Days 9–11. Our data have shown that in the porcine endometrium, both epithelial and stromal cells undergo apoptosis and that the number of apoptotic cells varies depending on the phase of the oestrous cycle.

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The compound 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a by-product of human industrial activity, was found to affect ovarian steroidogenesis in animals, but the mechanism of its action is still unclear. The aims of the study were to examine the effect of TCDD on (1) progesterone (P4) and oestradiol (E2) production by granulosa cells isolated from medium (3–6 mm) and preovulatory (≥ 8 mm) porcine follicles, (2) the viability of the cells, and (3) the incidence of apoptosis. Porcine granulosa cells were cultured (48 h) with or without TCDD (100 pM, 100 nM). Steroid hormone concentrations in the medium were determined by radioimmunoassay. The viability of granulosa cells was tested spectrophotometrically (alamarBlue™ assay). Apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry using Annexin V and by TUNEL assay. The higher dose of TCDD (100 nM) significantly inhibited P4 and stimulated E2 production by luteinised granulosa cells isolated from medium follicles. The lower dose of TCDD (100 pM) significantly stimulated P4 and inhibited E2 secretion by the cells isolated from preovulatory follicles. None of the two TCDD doses affected cell viability or induced apoptosis in granulosa cells. In conclusion, TCDD directly affected steroid production by granulosa cells obtained from mature pigs, but the effect of TCDD was not due to its cytotoxicity.

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