Bovine oocytes show a higher tolerance to heat shock in the warm compared with the cold season of the year

M. J. Maya-Soriano, F. López-Gatius, C. Andreu-Vázquez, M. López-Béjar

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Heat stress is especially harmful for bovine ovarian follicle development and oocyte competence. In this study, we assessed the effects of heat shock on oocyte maturation in oocytes collected during the cold (February-March; n = 114) or warm (May-June; n = 116) periods of the year. In both cases, cumulus-oocyte complexes were matured under control (38 °C) and heat shock conditions (41.5 °C, 18-21 h of maturation). For each oocyte, nuclear stage, cortical granule distribution and steroidogenic activity of cumulus cells were evaluated. Based on the odds ratio, heat-shocked oocytes were 26.83 times more likely to show an anomalous metaphase II morphology. When matured under heat shock conditions, oocytes obtained in both seasons were similarly affected in terms of nuclear maturation, whereas a seasonal effect was observed on cytoplasmic maturation. For oocytes collected during the cold season, the likelihood to show an anomalous maturation was 25.96 times higher when exposed to the heat treatment than when matured under control conditions. By contrast, oocytes collected during the warm season matured under control or heat shock did not show significant risk of showing an anomalous cytoplasmic maturation. Our findings indicate an increased rate of premature oocytes in response to heat shock as well as a higher tolerance to this stress of oocytes harvested in the warm season compared with those collected in the colder period. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-305
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2013


  • Cold season
  • Cortical granules
  • Heat shock
  • Oocyte
  • Stress tolerance
  • Warm season


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