University of Florida

ANS 6313-Current Concepts in Reproductive Biology




P.J. Hansen, Ph.D.
Dept. of Animal Sciences
Room 122 Bldg 499 (Dairy Science Building)
Phone: 352-392-5590 Fax: 352-392-5595

The course is taught every other year and will be taught next in Fall, 2019.


This course uses in-depth discussion of recent review articles and original research publications on controversial or cutting-edge topics in reproductive biology to provide students with opportunities to 1) become aware of recent developments in reproductive biology, 2) develop critical thinking skills and 3)  formulate theoretical models to underpin development of research programs. The course is designed for advanced students in reproductive biology and other biosciences. 


Consent of instructor is required and enrollment will be limited. Extensive experience in reproductive biology or a formal course in reproduction is required.  It is strongly recommended that students have completed a course in molecular biology or cell biology. 

Course Format

The course meets for 2 hours once weekly.  Before class, students are assigned readings consisting of 2-3 review articles assigned by the instructor and one original research paper chosen by the students.  The first hour of the class is taken up with a general discussion of the concepts illustrated in the review articles.  The original research paper is evaluated in the second hour in a discussion. Each class period, one student will be assigned to lead the discussion of the review articles and one student will be assigned to choose the research paper and lead the discussion on the paper.

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Time and Place

Usually, Tuesday, 5:00-7:00 PM, Room 102 Bldg 499 (L.E. "Red" Larson Dairy Science Building) although we will sometimes meet at other times.


The discussion on the review papers will be initiated by a 15 minute presentation by one student that outlines one of the models of theoretical concepts underlying the reviews.  The remainder of the discussion will be led by Dr. Hansen but students will be given an opportunity for shaping the direction of the discussion. Discussion topics will involve (but not be limited to) the following:  

-Development of models to organize concepts
-Critical evaluation of conceptslarification of confusing areas/concepts
-Clarification of confusing areas/concepts
-Critical evaluation of concepts and experiments on which concepts are based
-Implications for other areas of reproductive biology
-Critical areas for future research

The research paper will be chosen by the student assigned to that topic.  The paper should be a recent paper (2014-2015) that represents a key paper in the progress in that area of research.  The student assigned to the paper should distribute the paper to each of the students in the lab one week before class meets.  The discussion of the paper will be informal (i.e., without lots of overheads or powerpoint slides) and will focus on  the following: The hypothesis, experimental design, results obtained, and significance of the results. All students will be expected to be involved in the discussion of the research paper.

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Readings can be found in the electronic journal section of the University of Florida Health Science Library.  In addition, Dr. Hansen will email the pdf file for each paper before class.  It is expected that all students will have read every article.
For original research papers, the student assigned to find a paper should distribute the paper to each of the students in the lab one week before class meets. Distribution should be via email of the pdf file.

Schedule - Fall 2019

August 21 - Organization

September 3 -  Primordial follicle activation (Roney Zimpel)
Bertoldo MJ, Walters KA, Ledger WL, Gilchrist RB, Mermillod P, Locatelli Y. In-vitro regulation of primordial follicle activation: challenges for fertility preservation strategies. Reprod Biomed Online. 2018; 36:491-499.

Ford E, Beckett EL, Roman S, McLaughlin EA, Sutherland J. Advances in human primordial follicle activation and premature ovarian insufficiency. Reproduction. 2019: REP-19-0201.R2.

September 10 - Follicular Growth (Ali Husnain)
Chang HM, Wu HC, Sun ZG, Lian F, Leung PCK. Neurotrophins and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in the ovary: physiological and pathophysiological implications. Hum Reprod Update. 2019;25:224-242.

Mazerbourg S, Monget P. Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins and IGFBP proteases: A dynamic system regulating the ovarian folliculogenesis. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018;9:134.

September 18 - Oocyte-cumulus interactions (Usman)
Mäkelä JA, Hobbs RM. Molecular regulation of spermatogonial stem cell renewal and differentiation. Reproduction. 2019 Jun 1. pii: REP-18-0476.R2.

Giassetti MI, Ciccarelli M, Oatley JM. Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation: insights and outlook for domestic animals. Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2019;7:385-401.

September 24 - The Oocyte at Ovulation (Figueriedo)
Camaioni A, Klinger FG, Campagnolo L, Salustri A. The Influence of pentraxin 3 on the ovarian function and its impact on fertility. Front Immunol. 2018; 9:2808.

Richani D, Gilchrist RB. The epidermal growth factor network: role in oocyte growth, maturation and developmental competence. Hum Reprod Update 2018;24:1-14.

October 1 Paternal Epigenetic Inheritance (Sosa)
Gòdia M, Swanson G, Krawetz SA. A history of why fathers' RNA matters. Biol Reprod. 2018;99:147-159.

Dupont C, Kappeler L, Saget S, Grandjean V, Lévy R. Role of miRNA in the transmission of metabolic diseases associated with paternal diet-induced obesity. Front Genet. 2019; 10:337.

October 15 - Role of Seminal Plasma (Molinari)

Druart X, Rickard JP, Tsikis G, de Graaf SP. Seminal plasma proteins as markers of sperm fertility. Theriogenology. 2019;137:30-35.

Morgan HL, Watkins AJ. The influence of seminal plasma on offspring development and health. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2019; in press.

October 22 - New Concepts on Development of the Endometrium (Umando Seto)
Santamaria X, Mas A, Cervelló I, Taylor H, Simon C. Uterine stem cells: from basic research to advanced cell therapies. Hum Reprod Update. 2018; 24:673-693.

Bagnell CA, Bartol FF. Relaxin and the 'Milky Way': The lactocrine hypothesis and maternal programming of development. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2019;487:18-23.

October 29 – Embryonic Genome Activation (Amaral)
Eckersley-Maslin MA, Alda-Catalinas C, Reik W. Dynamics of the epigenetic landscape during the maternal-to-zygotic transition. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2018;19:436-450.

Sha QQ, Zhang J, Fan HY. A story of birth and death: mRNA translation and clearance at the onset of Maternal-to-Zygotic transition in mammals. Biol Reprod. 2019; in press.

November 5 - Differenitation of Trophectoderm and Primitive Endoderm in the Blastocyst (Bohm) Saini D, Yamanaka Y. Cell Polarity-dependent regulation of cell allocation and the first lineage specification in the preimplantation mouse embryo. Curr Top Dev Biol 2018;128:11-35.

Bassalert C, Valverde-Estrella L, Chazaud C. Primitive endoderm differentiation: from specification to epithelialization. Curr Top Dev Biol 2018; 128: 81-105.

November 12 - Species Divergene in the Patterns of Preimplantation Development
Piliszek A, Madeja ZE. Pre-implantation development of domestic animals. Curr Top Dev Biol 2018; 268-294.

Wamaitha SE, Niakan KK. Human pre-gastrulation development. Curr Top Dev Biol 2018; 128: 295-338

November 19  - Development of the Placenta
Knöfler M, Haider S, Saleh L, Pollheimer J, Gamage TKJB, James J. Human placenta and trophoblast development: key molecular mechanisms and model systems. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019; in press.

Boss AL, Chamley LW, James JL. Placental formation in early pregnancy: how is the centre of the placenta made? Hum Reprod Update. 2018 Nov 1;24(6):750-760.

November 25  - Regulation of GnRH Pulse Generation

Herbison AE. The Gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator. Endocrinology. 2018; 159:3723-3736.

Scott CJ, Rose JL, Gunn AJ, McGrath BM. Kisspeptin and the regulation of the reproductive axis in domestic animals. J Endocrinol. 2018; in press.

December 3 -  Amino acid metabolism and reproduction         
Manfredi-Lozano M, Roa J, Tena-Sempere M. Connecting metabolism and gonadal function: Novel central neuropeptide pathways involved in the metabolic control of puberty and fertility. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2018;48:37-49.

D'Occhio MJ, Baruselli PS, Campanile G. Influence of nutrition, body condition, and metabolic status on reproduction in female beef cattle: A review.  Theriogenology. 2019; 125:277-284.


Grading is based on attendance (50%) and participation (50%). The highest grade possible for a student missing two lectures is a B+ and, for a student missing three lectures, is a B. Any student missing four or more lectures will be given an incomplete grade.

Communication About The Class

Email will be used as the major method for communicating when not in class. Therefore, provide Dr. Hansen with your email address, if one is available. Dr. Hansen's email is

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Policy on Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated by the instructors or by your peers at the University of Florida. Upon completion of your registration form at the University of Florida every student signed the following statement: "I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all the academic work. I agree to this commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University". Please adhere to this oath.
A complete copy of the Academic Honesty Guidelines can be found in the University of Florida Undergraduate Catalog and at the University Student Guide.

Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when  requesting accommodation.

Counseling Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:
University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career
Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal
Sexual Assault Recovery Services, Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, assault
Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 2-1601, career development assistance

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