Alex Van Zeveren

Learn More
BACKGROUND Real-time quantitative PCR is a sensitive and very efficient technique to examine gene transcription patterns in preimplantation embryos, in order to gain information about embryo development and to optimize assisted reproductive technologies. Critical to the successful application of real-time PCR is careful assay design, reaction optimization(More)
BACKGROUND Normal preimplantation embryo development encompasses a series of events including first cleavage division, activation of the embryonic genome, compaction and blastocyst formation. First lineage differentiation starts at the blastocyst stage with the formation of the trophectoderm and the inner cell mass. The main objective of this study was the(More)
BACKGROUND An essential part of using real-time RT-PCR is that expression results have to be normalized before any conclusions can be drawn. This can be done by using one or multiple, validated reference genes, depending on the desired accuracy of the results. In the pig however, very little information is available on the expression stability of reference(More)
SPRN is an interesting new member of the PRNP family because of its sequence homology with the hydrophobic region of PRNP, its expression in brain tissue and its PrP-like properties in functional experiments on Prnp(0/0) mice. In this study, we investigated by quantitative real-time PCR the relative mRNA expression levels of SPRN and PRNP in sheep cerebrum(More)
BACKGROUND Scrapie and BSE belong to a group of fatal, transmissible, neurodegenerative diseases called TSE. In order to minimize the risk of natural scrapie and presumed natural BSE in sheep, breeding programmes towards TSE resistance are conducted in many countries based on resistance rendering PRNP polymorphisms at codons 136 (A/V), 154 (R/H) and 171(More)
BACKGROUND TSEs are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases occurring in man and animals. They are caused by prions, alternatively folded forms of the endogenous prion protein, encoded by PRNP. Since differences in the sequence of PRNP can not explain all variation in TSE susceptibility, there is growing interest in other genes that might have an(More)
BACKGROUND Fibronectin 1 (FN1), a glycoprotein component of the extracellular matrix, exerts different functions during reproductive processes such as fertilisation, gastrulation and implantation. FN1 expression has been described to increase significantly from the morula towards the early blastocyst stage, suggesting that FN1 may also be involved in early(More)
Shadow of prion protein is a gene potentially involved in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. However, the Shadoo protein encoded by this gene has not yet been studied in sheep, an important species in prion matters. Therefore, we developed a polyclonal antibody against ovine Shadoo and assessed the presence and distribution of this protein in the ovine(More)
BACKGROUND Because prostaglandins are involved in many (patho)physiological processes, SLCO2A1 was already characterized in several species in an attempt to unravel specific processes/deficiencies. Here, we describe the molecular cloning and characterization of the porcine ortholog in order to evaluate its possible involvement in F4 enterotoxigenic E. coli(More)
BACKGROUND The gene(s) encoding the ETEC F4ab/ac receptors, involved in neonatal diarrhoea in pigs (a disease not yet described in humans), is located close to the TF locus on Sscr13. In order to reveal and characterize possible candidate genes encoding these receptors, a porcine physical map of the TF region is indispensable. RESULTS A contig of 33 BAC(More)