Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene

Absence of Sperm Factors as in the Parthenogenesis Does Not Interfere on Bovine Embryo Sensitiveness to Heat Shock at Pre-Implantation Stage.

PMID 26514548


Oocyte has been considered the major contributor for embryo thermo-tolerance. However, it was shown that sperm factors can be transferred to the oocyte during fertilization, raising the question of whether the absence of such factors could interfere on embryo thermo-tolerance. In this study, we used parthenogenesis to generate bovine embryos without spermatozoa in order to test whether the absence of sperm factors could influence their thermo-sensitiveness at early stages. In vitro fertilized (IVF) and parthenogenetic (PA) embryos at 44 h post-insemination/chemical activation were exposed to 38.5°C (control) or 41°C (heat shock) for 12 h and then developed for 48 h and up to blastocyst stage. Apoptosis index and expression of PRDX1, GLUT1, GLUT5 and IGF1r genes in blastocysts derived from heat-shocked embryos were also evaluated. The heat shock decreased the blastocyst rate at day seven (p < 0.05) for IVF embryos and at day eight (p < 0.01) for both IVF and PA embryos. Total cell number was not affected by heat shock in IVF and PA blastocysts, but there was an increased proportion (p < 0.05) of apoptotic cells in heat-shocked embryos when compared to controls. There was no interaction (p > 0.05) between method of activation (IVF and PA) and temperature (38.5°C or 41.5°C) for all developmental parameters evaluated. Expression of GLUT1 gene was downregulated (p < 0.05) by heat shock in both IVF and PA blastocyst whereas expression of GLUT5 and IGF1r genes was downregulated (p < 0.05) by heat shock in PA blastocysts. Those data show that the heat shock affects negatively the embryo development towards blastocysts stage, increases the apoptotic index and disturbed the expression of some genes in both IVF and PA embryos, indicating that the presence or absence of sperm factors does not influence the sensitivity of the bovine embryo to heat shock.