Oocyte Quality and Heat Shock Proteins in Oocytes From Bovine Breeds Adapted to the Tropics Under Different Conditions of Environmental Thermal Stress

Theriogenology. 2019 May;130:103-110. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.02.039. Epub 2019 Mar 7.


In order to evaluate the influence of thermal stress on physiological parameters, and the oocyte quality of Girolando (n = 12) and adapted Pantaneira (n = 12) cattle, twelve sessions of ultrasound guided follicular aspiration (OPU) were performed, between January and November 2014 (during dry (May-September) and rainy season (October-April) in Brazil). The recovered cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were selected and classified, according to quality, immediately after OPU. The oocytes were then stored in 3% paraformaldehyd before conducting immunofluorescence analysis under confocal microscopy to identify HSP70 and 90 proteins. Before each OPU session, the rectal temperature (RT) and respiratory frequency (RF) of each animal were measured. The black globe humidity index (BGHI) was calculated on the day of the OPUs and 90 days before each OPU session, and related to the thermal stress of the animals. The quality of oocytes from Girolando cattle, but not Pantaneira, showed a negative relationship with BGHI of 90 days before OPU. RT of both breeds did not exceed normal values for cattle below BGHI 95. BGHI variation on the day of OPU did not affect RF of the adapted Pantaneira breed (p = 0.3221). On the other hand, Girolando cattle showed a positive relationship between RF and BGHI (p = 0.0103). With increasing BGHI, the amount of HSP70 increased in Girolando oocytes, however, decreased in the Pantaneira breed. We have not observed a relationship between HSP 90 and BGHI, however Girolando cattle produced a greater amount of this protein in relation to the Pantaneira breed. In conclusion, higher BGHIs, 90 days before OPU session, negatively affect oocyte quality of Girolando cattle and positively affect oocyte quality of the Pantaneira breed. Higher BGHIs on the day of the OPU session negatively affected the respiratory frequency of the Girolando breed, and lead to a higher recruitment of HSP70 to protect oocyte maturation. The opposite pattern was observed for Pantaneira. In addition, Pantaneira cattle produced twice as much as HSP70 as Girolando cattle, suggesting that a natural higher production of this protein could be involved in the mechanisms of adaptation to heat conditions.

Keywords: Black globe humidity index; Bovine; Heat shock protein; Oocyte quality; Respiratory frequency.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cattle / genetics
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Tropical Climate*


  • Heat-Shock Proteins