Diversity of viruses, bacteria, microscopic fungi, and endo- and ectoparasites is an inevitable environmental factor that influences the host reproduction and that is determined not only by negative effects of infectious diseases but also by activation of protective mechanisms, which provide a confrontation to the pressure of parasites. In the present work, hemocyanin was injected into males of the ICR outbred line in order to study reproductive consequences of antigenic stimulation of males. Intact females were added to control and antigen-stimulated males at the initial stage of antibody formation. During 6 days of combined keeping, a significantly greater amount of ovulated egg cells and living embryos were registered in the females added to males that were injected with hemocyanin compared with that theoretically expected for equal reproductive yield. Females covered by antigen-stimulated males bred larger embryos compared with those in the control. Indices of female fertility depended on prevalence of cellular (Th1) or humoral (Th2) immune responses in antigen-stimulated males. Shift of Th1/Th2 balance resulted in higher preimplantation embryonic losses in females covered by males with a prevalence of cellular immune response; however, they bred larger embryos. Thus, it was established that activation of the immune system in males does not influence their reproductive abilities. This allows us, on the one hand, to explain the contribution of protective reactions of the organism in the increase in fertility of the mammals that inhabit territories with high specific abundance of parasites; on the other hand, it demonstrates new ways of the management of the reproduction of animals bred under human control.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 16, 2012
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