Working Group Biochemistry of Reproduction

Oxidative Stress and fertility in dairy cows.

High-yielding dairy cows produce more than 10,000 liters of milk per year. Frequently this is accompanied by fertility problems. However, the connection between increasing milk production and reduced fertility is largely unknown.

In this working group we investigate whether oxidative stress might be involved in this interaction. Oxidative stress leads to increased concentrations of oxidatively modified lipids which interfere with various reproductive processes and therefore serve as suitable biomarkers. A reduced concentration of oxidatively modified lipids might positively influence the fertility of dairy cows.

Regulation of differentiation processes during germ cell development

During germ cell development specialized spermatozoa (male) or oocytes (female) are differentiating from pluripotent germ cells. During this differentiation processes dramatic physiological and morphological changes have to occur which needs to be well orchestrated.

In the Reproductive Biochemistry Unit we analyze these mechanisms on a molecular level. We take advantage of the Dummerstorf mouse lines which have been selected for ‘high fertility’ for more than 45 years and 180 generations of selection.