Summary of Research Project Results under JSPS FY2001
"Research for the Future Program"

1.Research Institution The University of Tokyo
2.Research Area Life Sciences
3.Research Field Molecular Bioengineering of Food Animal Protein Resources
4.Term of Project FY 1997 〜 FY 2001
5.Project Number 97L00904
6.Title of Project Endocrinological and Biotechnological Control of Body Growth and Reproduction in Domestic Animals

7.Project Leader
Name Institution,Department Title of Position
Nishihara, Masugi The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science Professor

8.Core Members

Names Institution,Department Title of Position
Kunio, Shiota The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science Professor
Yuji, Mori The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science Professor

9.Summary of Research Results

The purpose of this project is to establish new approaches regulating reproduction, body growth and metabolism of domestic animals. To this end, we investigated molecular mechanisms of body growth and reproduction mainly by generating several line of transgenic and knockout animal models. The main outcomes of this project are as follows.
1. Expression of 20α-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase (20α-HSD) gene in the corpus luteum plays a crucial role in recurring short estrous cycle in rodents. 20α-HSD transgenic goats may recur short estrous cycle.
2. Induction of granulin gene expression in neonatal hypothalamus by androgen is involved in sex differentiation of the brain.
3. Continuous secretion of low levels of growth hormone results in the accumulation of body fat. In addition, we found that satellite cells in skeletal muscle could differentiate into adipocytes.
4. Transgenic rats were generated by means of testis-mediated gene transfer (TMGT). Foreign gene could be also transferred by TMGT in the goat, but it was mosaic. We found that the synthetic peptide containing protamine motif could enhance the efficiency of TMGT.
5. DNA methylation pattern varies among tissues. In addition, individual cloned mice have different methylation aberrations, indicating that cloned animals are by no means perfect copies of the original animals as far as the methylation status of genomic DNA is concerned.
6. Primer pheromone is produced in the sebaceous gland of the head of male goats in a testosterone-dependent manner after its conversion to 5α-dihydrotestosterone..
7. IL-1 signal is involved in feeding behavior, body growth and fat accumulation.
8. Facilitation of angiogenesis in follicles could increase the number of ovulated oocytes.

10.Key Words

(1)Estrous cycle、(2)Sex differentiation、(3)Growth hormone
(4)Fat accumulation、(5)Testis-mediated gene transfer、(6)DNA methylation
(7)Pheromone、(8)Cytokine、(9)Super ovulation