Apoptotic and developmental effects of bovine Herpesvirus type-5 infection on in vitro-produced bovine embryos
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Bovine Herpesvirus type-5 (BoHV-5), which is potentially neuropathogenic, was recently described to be related with reproductive disorders in cows. The objective was to elucidate mechanisms involved in propagation of BoHV-5 in embryonic cells. For this purpose, bovine embryos produced in vitro were assayed for apoptotic markers after experimental infection of oocytes, in vitro fertilization, and development. Host DNA fragmentation was detected with a TUNEL assay, expression of annexin-V was measured with indirect immunofluorescence, and viral DNA was detected with in situ hybridization. Infective BoHV-5 virus was recovered from embryos derived from exposed oocytes after two consecutive passages on Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. The viral DNA corresponding to US9 gene, localized between nucleotides 126243 to 126493, was detected in situ and amplified. There was no significant difference between the ratio of TUNEL stained nuclei and total cells in good quality blastocysts (0.87 +/- 0.05, mean SD), but there were differences (P < 0.05) between infected (0.18 +/- 0.05) and uninfected blastocysts (0.73 +/- 0.07). The Annexin-V label was more intense in uninfected embryos (0.79 +/- 0.04; P < 0.05). The quality of infected and uninfected embryos was considered equal, with no significant effect on embryonic development. In conclusion, we inferred that BoHV-5 infected bovine oocytes, replicated, and suppressed some apoptotic pathways, without significantly affecting embryonic development. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.