Reproductive Health

Reproductive Health

Reproductive Health

Our scientists study environmental and biochemical factors affecting pregnancy in mares.

Support this Research

Area Researchers

Barry Ball

Professor Emeritus

b.a.ball@uky.edu

Carleigh Fedorka

Postdoctoral Scholar

carleigh.fedorka@uky.edu Gluck Research Center 1400 Nicholasville Rd. Lexington, KY 40546

Karen McDowell

Associate Professor Emeritus

kmcd@uky.edu

Kirsten Scoggin

Scientist III

(859) 218-1202 kirsten.scoggin@uky.edu 127 Gluck Research Center 1400 Nicholasville Rd. Lexington, KY 40546

Mats Troedsson

Professor

(859) 218-1139 m.troedsson@uky.edu 128-B Gluck Research Center 1400 Nicholasville Rd. Lexington, KY 40546

The Equine Reproductive Health Research group at the Gluck Equine Research Center study reproductive immunology, infertility and pregnancy loss in horses. Current projects include

  • bacterial biofilm associated proteins as potential diagnostics for endometritis
  • biomarkers for high-risk pregnancies
  • the effect of seminal plasma on immune tolerance during pregnancy, and metabolism of the offspring
  • the importance of Vitamin D in equine reproduction
  • degradation of endometrial cups by immune-modulatory treatment
  • pathophysiology of endometrial fibrosis 

 

Past Graduate students (2010 - 22)

Yatta Linhares Boakari, PhD 2019. Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Carleigh Fedorka, PhD 2017. Scientist at Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky

Anthony Claes, PhD 2014. Associate Professor at University of Utrecht, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Igor Fredrico Canisso, PhD 2014. Associate Professor at University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Elizabeth Woodward, PhD 2012. Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Claudia Klein, PhD 2011. Head of the Freidrich Loeffler Institute of Farm Animal Genetics, and Professor, University of Hannover, Germany,

Lynda Miller, PhD 2010. Associate Professor at CVCM Lincoln Memorial University

Blaire Fleming, MS 2018.  DVM student at Auburn University

Michelle Wynn, MS 2017. Scientist at University of Kentucky

Lauren Goedde, MS 2016. Law student at University of Denver

Gabriel Davolli, MS 2014. DVM, Dipl. American College of Theriogenologists.

Drew Hestad, MS 2013. DVM, Practicing Veterinarian.

Julianne Kalmar, MS 2013.

Sydney Hughes, MS 2012. DVM at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

Katheryn Cerny, MS 2012. PhD in Animal Science, University of Kentucky and currently Associate Professor at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural University

Lauren Keith, MS 2012. DVM at Madison Veterinary Specialists, WI

 

Post-doctoral scholars (2010-22)

Carleigh Fedorka, PhD (2017- 2022)

Hossam El-Sheikh Ali, DVM, MVSc, PhD. (2015-2022). Assistant Professor at Mansoura University, Egypt

Shavahn Loux, PhD. (2014-19). Scientist, Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center

Elizabeth Woodward, PhD 2012. Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Alejandro Esteller-Vico, DVM, PhD, (2011-2015). Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee.

Claudia Klein, PhD 2011. Head of the Freidrich Loeffler Institute of Farm Animal Genetics, and Professor, University of Hannover, Germany.

 

Visiting scientists/ PhD students (2010-22):

Natacha Mudenspach, DVM, (2022) University of Copenhagen, Denmark

  • M.H.T Troedsson, Co-advisor for degree at University of Copenhagen.

Pouya Dini, DVM, PhD (2020). Assistant Professor at University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

  • B.A. Ball, Co-advisor for degree at University of Ghent.

Harutaka Murase, DVM, PhD (2018-19). Veterinarian at Japan Racing Association.

Alan J. Conley, DVM, PhD.  (2017) Professor, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis.

Camila Vasconcelos Ribeiro, DVM, University of Piauí, Brazil

Yamê Fabres Robaina Sancler da Silva PhD, MSc, DVM. (2016) Assistant Professor at Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil. 

Fernando Peña, DVM., PhD.  (2014-15). Professor, University of Extremadura Spain.

Elisa Sant’Anna Silva, DVM, PhD, FMVZ University of Botucatu, Brazil

Claudia Barbosa Fernandes, DVM, PhD, (2014-2015). Associate Professor at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil

Shingo Haneda DVM., Ph.D  (2014). Associate Professor, Obihiro University, Japan. 

Kazim Guvenic, DVM, PhD (2014). Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University, Turkey.

Lisa Glenton, PhD (2014), University of Melbourne, Australia

Juan Maria Gallardo Bolaños, DVM, PhD, University of Extremadura, Spain

Abdo Alghamdi, DVM, PhD (2013) Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Crookston

Justin McNaughton, DVM, DACT (2013) University of Florida

Mette Christoffersen, PhD (2011-12) Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, School of Veterinary Medicine.

  • M.H.T Troedsson, Co-advisor for degree at University of Copenhagen.

Mohammad Ababneh, DVM, PhD, DACT (2010-11) Professor, University of Jordan (Fulbright Fellow), 2010-11

Jane Morrell, PhD (2011) Associate Professor, Swedish University of Agriculture, Uppsala, Sweden,

Morten Rønn Petersen, DVM, PhD, (2010) Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Jasmine Walter, DVM. PhD (2010) University of Zurich, Switzerland

R.R. Araujo, DVM, PhD (2010) University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

Visiting Lincoln Memorial University summer research veterinary students (2014-22): David Alexander, Mariah Pearson, Staci Sherman, David Alexander, Morgan Clark, Katharine Jackson, Staci Palmer, Maria Pearson, Patrick ProctorOlivia Walker, Elizabeth Humphrey, Lauren Troutt, Kelly Weigle, Madison Dedman, Ana Weiland.

Peer-reviewed publications (2020-22)

Miller, L.M.J., Woodward, E.M. Campos, J.R., Williams, N., Squires, E.L., Troedsson, M.H.T. Expression of Sperm Protein at 22kDa (SP22) on spermatozoa and in the stallion’s reproductive tract prior to and following heat-induced testicular regulation. Andrology (Submitted).

Fedorka, C.E., El-Sheikh Ali, H., Scoggin, K.E., Loux, S.C., Ball, B.A., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2022) TNF signaling during equine placental infection leads to pro-apoptotic and necroptotic outcomes. Am. J. Repr. Immun. (Submitted).

Williams, N.J., Slovis, N.M., Browne, N.S., Troedsson, M.H.T., Giguėre, S.ǂ, Hernandez, J.A. Enterococcus durans infection and diarrhea in Thoroughbred foals. J. Vet. Int. Med. (Submitted).

Murase H, El-Sheikh Ali H, Ruby RE, Scoggin KE, Ball BA.  Transcriptomic analysis of the chorioallantois in equine premature placental separation.  Eq Vet J (Submitted) 2021.

Edwards V, Loux SC, Embertson R.  Sales and Race Performance of Juvenile Thoroughbreds with Surgically Corrected Large Colon Displacements Eq Vet J (Submitted).

Loux SC, Robles M, Chavette-Palmer P, DeMestre A. (2022) Drivers of equine placental differentiation: Insights from gene expression studies. Reproduction 163(3):R39-54.  https://doi.org/10.1530/REP-21-0115.

Robles M, Loux SC, DeMestre A, Chavatte-Palmer P. (2022) Environmental constraints and pathologies that modulate equine placental genes and development.  Reproduction 163(3):R25-R38.  https://doi.org/10.1530/REP-21-0116

Conley AJ, Loux SC, Legacki EL, Stoops MA, Pukazhenthi B, Brown JL, Sattler R, French HM, Tibary A, Robeck TR.  (2021) The steroid metabolome of pregnancy: insights into the maintenance of pregnancy and evolution of reproduction.  Mol Cell Endocrinol 528:111241 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2021.111241

Fedorka, C.E., El-Sheikh Ali, H., Walker, O.F., Scoggin, K.E., Dini, P., Loux, S.C., Troedsson, M.H.T., Ball, B.A. (2021) The imbalance of the Th17/Treg axis involved in equine ascending placental infection. J. Reprod. Immunology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jri.2020.103268

Fedorka, C.E., Ball, B.A., Walker, O.F., McCormack, M.E., Scoggin, K.E., Kennedy, L., Squires, E.L., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2021) Alterations of Circulating Markers During Late Term Pregnancy Complications in the Horse. Part I: Cytokines. J. Eq. Vet. Sci. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2021.103425

Fedorka, C.E., Ball, B.A., Wynn, M.A.A., McCormack, M.E., Scoggin, K.E., Esteller-Vico, A., Curry, T., Kennedy, L., Squires, E.L., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2021) Alterations of Circulating Markers During Late Term Pregnancy Complications in the Horse. Part II: Steroid Hormones and AFP. J. Eq. Vet. Sci. doi:10.1016/j.jevs.2021.103395

Shingo, H., Dini, P., Esteller-Vico, A., Scoggin, K.E., Squires, E.L., Troedsson, M.H.T., Daels, P., Nambo, Y., Ball, B.A. (2021) Estrogen-regulated angiogenesis in the equine placenta. Int. J. Mol. Sc. doi.org/103390/ijms222212116

Fedorka, C.F., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2021) The use of immunomodulators in equine reproduction. Clin. Theriogenology 13:238-246.

Esteller-Vico, A., Ball, B.A., Walter, J., Hughes, S., Squires, E.L., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2021) Changes in circulating concentrations of testosterone and estrone sulfate after human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation and subsequent to castration in two-year-old stallions. Anim. Reprod. Sci. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106670.

Gradil C, Joone C, Haire T, Fowler B, Zinchuk J, Davies, C, Ball BA.  Control of fertility in mares based upon a novel intrauterine device.  An Reprod Sci 231:106795,  2021.

El-Sheikh Ali H, Loux SC, Kennedy L, Scoggin KE, Dini P, Fedorka CE, Kalbfleisch TS, Esteller-Vico A, Horohov DW, Erol E, Carter CN, Smith JL, Ball BA Transcriptomic analysis of the chorioallantois from mares with nocardioform placentitis.  Vet Res  52:1-22, 2021.

Boakari YL, Loux SC, El-Sheikh Ali H, Fernandes CB, Dini P, Scoggin KE, Facison C, Cray C, Ball BA, Esteller-Vico A.  Serum concentration and mRNA expression of serum amyloid A, serum amyloid A1 and haptoglobin in pregnant mares and their fetuses after experimental induction of placentitis. An Reprod Sci 229:106766,  2021.

El-Sheikh Ali H, Scoggin KE, Boakari Y, Dini P, Loux SC, Fedorka CE, Esteller-Vico A, Ball BA.  Kinetics of Placenta-specific 8 (PLAC8) in equine placenta during pregnancy and placentitis.  Theriogenology 160:81-89, 2021.

Boakari YL, El-Sheikh Ali H, Schnobrich M, Lofrumento K, Scoggin C, Bradekamp, E, Scoggin KE, Esteller-Vico A, Claes A, Lawrence L, Ball BA.  Relationship between blood and follicular fluid urea nitrogen concentrations and between blood urea nitrogen and embryo survival in mares.  Theriogenology 160:142-150, 2021.

Renaudin CD, Kelleman AA, Keel K, McCracken JL, Ball BA, Ferris RA, McCue PM, Dujovne G, Conley AJ. Equine granulosa cell tumors among other ovarian pathologies: Diagnostic challenges.  Eq Vet J. 53:60-70, 2021.

Dini P, Kalbfleisch T, Uribe-Salazar JM, Carossino M, El-Sheikh Ali H, Loux SC, Esteller-Vico A,  Norris JK, Lakshay A, Scoggin KE, Rodriguez Lopez CM, Breen J, Bailey E, Daels P, Ball BA.  Parental bias in gene expression and interaction in the equine placenta.  PNAS  April 20, 2021 118 (16) e2006474118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2006474118.

El-Sheikh Ali H, Scoggin KE, Ruby R, Loynachan A, Boakari Y, Fernandes C, Dini P, Fedorka CE,, Loux SC, Esteller-Vico A, Ball BA.  Equine cervical remodeling during placentitis and the prepartum period: A transcriptomic approach.  Reproduction 161:603-621,  2021.

Dini P, Carossino M, Balasuriya UBR, El-Sheikh Ali H, Loux SC, Esteller-Vico A, Scoggin KE, Loynachan AT, Kalbfleisch T, De Spiegelaere W, Daels P, Ball BA.  Paternally expressed retrotransposon Gag like 1 gene, RTL1, is essential for placental angiogenesis. Biol Reprod 104:1386-1399, 2021.

El-Sheikh Ali H, Dini P, Scoggin KE, Loux SC, Fedorka CE, Boakari YL, Norris JK, Esteller-Vico A, Kalbfleisch T, Ball BA.  Transcriptomic analysis of equine placenta reveals key regulators and pathways involved in ascending placentitis.  Biol Reprod 104:638-656, 2021.

Fedorka CE, Scoggin KE, Ruby RE, Erol E, Ball BA.  Clinical, pathologic and epidemiologic features of nocardioform placentitis in the mare.  Theriogenology 171:155-161, 2021.

Dini P, Weiland A, Boakari Y, Scoggin KE, Esteller-Vico A, Daels PF, Ball BA.  Use of Tubo-ovarian ligation via colpotomy as a potential method for sterilization in mares. J Eq Vet Sci f103683, 2021.

Ellerbrock RE, Podico G, Scoggin KE, Ball BA, Carosinno M, Canisso IF.  Steroidogenic enzyme and steroid receptor expression in the equine accessory sex glands.  Animals 11:2322, 2021.

Menarim BC, El-Sheikh Ali H, Loux SC, Scoggin KE, Kalbfleisch T, MacLeod JN, Dahlgren LA.  (2021) Transcriptional and histochemical signatures of bone marrow mononuclear cell-mediated resolution of synovititis.  Front. Immunol.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.734322

Segabinazzi LGTM, Canisso IF, Podico G, Cunha LL, Novello G, Rosser MF, Loux SC, Lima FS, Alvarenga MA (2021) Intrauterine blood plasma platelet-therapy mitigates persistent breeding-induced endometritis, reduces uterine infections and improves embryo recovery in mares. Antibiotics 10(5):490. 

Fedorka, C.E., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) The use of progestins in equine medicine: A review. Eq. Vet. Educ. dx.doi.org/10.1111/eve.13332.

Cosgrove, E.J., Sadeghi, R., Schlamp, F., Holl, H.M., Moradi-Shahrbabak, M., Ashtiani, S.R.M., Abdalla, S., Shykind, B., Troedsson, M.H.T., Stefaniuk-Szmukier, M., Prabhu, A., Bucca, S., Bugno-Poniewierska, M., Wallner, B., Malek, J., Antczak, D.F., Miller, D.C., Clark, A.G., Brooks, S.A. (2020) Genome diversity and the origin of the Arabian horse. Scientific Reports/ Nature research

Fedorka, C.E., Murase, H., Loux, S.C., Loynachan, A., Walker, O.F., Squires, E.L., Ball, B.A., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) The effect of mycobacterium cell wall fraction on histological, immunological, and clinical parameters of postpartum involution. Eq. Vet. Sci. doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2020.103013.

Bucca, S., Sousa Oliviera, I.R., Cunanan, J., Vinardell, T. Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) Doppler indices of the equine fetal carotid artery throughout gestation. Theriogenology doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.07.009

Fedorka, C.E., Scoggin, K.E., Loux, S.C., El-Sheikh Ali H., Dini, P., Troedsson, M.H.T., Ball, B.A. (2020) IL-6 pathobiology in acending placentitis. Am. J. Repr. Immun. doi: 10.1111/aji.13363.

Boakari YL, El-Sheikh Ali H, Dini P, Loux SC, Fernandes CB, Scoggin KE, Esteller-Vico A, Lawrence L, Ball BA.  Effect of oral urea supplementation on the endometrial transcriptome of mares. An Reprod Sci 216: 106464, 2020. 

Boakari YL, El-Sheikh Ali H, Dini P, Loux SC, Fernandes CB, Scoggin KE, Esteller-Vico A, Lawrence L, Ball BA.  Effect of oral urea administration on the transcriptome of the equine embryo. Rep Fertil Develop 32: 1239-1249, 2020.   https://doi.org/10.1071/RD20088.

Dini P, El-Sheik Ali H, Carossino M, Loux S, Esteller-Vico A, Scoggin KE, Daels PD, Ball BA.  Expression profile of the chromosome 14 microRNA cluster (C14MC) ortholog in equine maternal circulation throughout pregnancy and its potential implications.  Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 6285; doi:10.3390/ijms20246285.

El-Sheikh Ali H, Legacki EL, Scoggin KE, Loux SC, Esteller-Vico A, Conley AJ, Stanley SD, Ball BA.  Steroid synthesis and metabolism in equine placenta during placentitis. Reproduction 159:289-302, 2020.

Fedorka CE, Loux SC, Adams AA, Ball BA. Alterations in helper T cell transcripts at the maternal-fetal interface throughout equine gestation. Placenta 89:78-87, 2020.

El-Sheikh Ali H, Boakari YL, Loux SC, Dini P, Scoggin KE, Esteller-Vico A, Ball BA.  Transcriptomic analysis reveals the key regulators and molecular mechanisms underlying myometrial activation during equine placentitis.  Biol Reprod 102:1306-1325, 2020.

Dini P, Carossino M, Loynachan A, El-Sheik Ali H, Wolfsdorf K, Scoggin KE, Daels PD, Ball BA.  Equine hydrallantois is associated with impaired angiogenesis in the placenta.  Placenta 93:101-112, 2020.

Thompson RE, Johnson AK, Dini P, Turco MY, Prado TM, Premanandan C, Burton GJ, Ball BA, Whitlock BK, Pukazhenthi BS.  Generation of hormone-responsive organoids from fresh and cryopreserved domestic mare and endangered Przewalski’s horse endometrium: A novel perspective for conservation.  Reproduction  160:819-831, 2020.

Canisso IF, Loux SC, Lima FS.  (2020). Biomarkers for Placental disease and Fetal Well-Being.  Theriogenology.  150, 302-307.

Loux SC, Conley AJ, El-Sheikh Ali HE, Dini P, Ball BA. New insights in equine steroidogenesis: An in-depth look at steroid signaling in the placenta.  Reproduction 160:65-82, 2020.

Fernandes CB, Ball BA, Loux SC, Boakari YL, Scoggin KE, El-Sheikh Ali H, Cogliati B, Esteller-Vico A. Uterine cervix as a fundamental part of the pathogenesis of pregnancy loss associated with ascending placentitis in mares. Theriogenology 145:167-175, 2020.

 

Invited presentations (2020-22)

 

Troedsson, M.H.T. (2022) Diagnostic and therapeutic value of progesterone/progestins during late gestation. ReproTraining Virtual Presentation and Panel discussion on ”Progesterone – myths and medicine”.

Loux, S.C., Mitchell, J.M., Scoggin, K.E., El-Sheikh Ali, H.E., Ball, B.A., Kalbfleisch, T.  Vitamin D in horses – a tale of the strengths and limitations of transcriptomics.  Plant and Animal Genome XXIX (2022)

Troedsson, M.H.T. (2021) Optimizing diagnosis and treatment of equine placentitis. PDVet Virtual presentation and panel discussion. February 2022.

Troedsson, M.H.T. (2021) Responsible use of antibiotics in equine practice: Strategies in human and veterinary medicine. Organizer and moderator of panel discussion. 67th Annual Conv. Am. Assoc. Eq. Pract., Nashville, TN.

Fedorka, C.E. (2021) Immunomodulators in the mare: Treatment options in an era of ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance. NovaVive Biopharmaceuticals.  Virtual presentation December 2021.

Fedorka, C.E. (2021) From pathways to pathogenesis:  Utilizing reproductive immunology to increase pregnancy success. Colorado State University, Edward Squires Distinguished Equine Lecturer. 

Fedorka, C.E. (2021) The use of immunomodulators in the mare, Society for Theriogenology, Omaha, NE.

Fedorka, C.E. (2021) The use of progestins in the mare, Society for Theriogenology, Omaha, NE.

Fedorka, C.E., Loux, S.C., Scoggin, K.E., Troedsson, M.H.T., Ball, B.A.. (2020) Understanding the host immune response to equine pregnancy. 10th International Conference on Equine Reproductive Medicine.

Fedorka C.F., Murase, H., Loux, S.C., Loynachan, A.T. Walker, O.F., Squires, E.L., Ball, B.A., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) The effect of mycobacterium cell wall fraction on histological, immunological, and clinical parameters of equine post-partum involution. SFT/ACT Annual meeting, Pittsburg, PA.

Bucca, S., Sousa, I.R., Vinardell, T., Cunanan, J., Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) Doppler indices of the equine fetal carotid artery throughout gestation. AAEP Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Fedorka, C.E., Scoggin, K.E., Loux, S.C., El-Sheikh Ali, H., Dini, P., Troedsson, M.H.T., Ball, B.A. (2020) The use of interleukin-6 (IL-6) as a biomarker for ascending placentitis. AAEP Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Fedorka, C.E. (2020) The effect of mycobacterium cell wall fraction on histological, immunological, and clinical parameters of equine postpartum involution,” Society for Theriogenology, Pittsburgh, PA.

Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) The effect of immune modulation on uterine involution. 10th International Workshop on Equine Reproductive Medicine. Leipzig, Germany.

Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) Progestin in studfarm practice. 11th International Conference on Equine Reproductive Medicine. Leipzig, Germany.

Troedsson, M.H.T. (2020) Use of immune-modulators in the treatment of equine endometritis. Agilis Equine Webinar in Immunomodulation. November 2020. 

Ball, B.A. (2020) Reproductive immunology and endocrinology of the pregnant mare.  Society for Theriogenology Annual Conference.

Ball, B.A. (2020 Cervix and myometrium: role in preterm and normal term birth in mare. Society for Theriogenology Annual Conference.

Ball, B.A. (2020) Genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics of the normal and abnormal equine placenta: A better understanding of late gestational function and dysfunction. Society for Theriogenology Annual Conference.

Loux S.C., Rosen, B.D., Heaton, M.P., Freking, B.A., Vander Ley, B.L., Bickhart, D.M., Clarke, S., Murphy, T.W., Kalbfleisch, T.S., Smith, T.P.L. (2020).  High-quality sheep genome assemblies for White Dorper and Romanov breeds by F1 trio binning.  Plant and Animal Genomics XXIIX annual conference

Loux, S.C. (2020) Integrating multi-level ‘omics analyses to better understand equine placental pathophysiology.  University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Seminar Series. 

Contact Information

Gluck Equine Research Center
and the Department of Veterinary Science

1400 Nicholasville Rd. Lexington, KY 40546-0099

+1 (859) 257-4757