Effect of Exposure to Heatwave During Blastocyst Formation on Reproductive Performance of Female Rabbits

Autores UPV
Revista Reproduction in Domestic Animals


We examined the effect of female exposure to heatwave during blastocyst formation on their reproductive performance and its effect on transcriptome in blastocyst and endometrial tissue. In this study, a total of 72 rabbit does were artificially inseminated and divided into two environmental groups 2 days later: does under conventional conditions (maintained between 14-22 degrees C, n = 29) and does heat stressed in a climatic chamber (maintained between 32-37 degrees C, n = 43). The heat-stressed group were kept under these conditions for 3 days and returned to conventional conditions thereafter. Five days post-insemination, 48 does were slaughtered to collect blastocyst and endometrium samples. mRNA transcripts from OCT-4, VEGF, erbB3, Ifn-gamma, HSP70 and HSP90 were analysed by qRT-PCR. At day 12 of gestation, 24 females were examined by laparoscopy to evaluate implanted embryos and at birth the total kits born and individual weights were recorded. Results revealed no gene expression changes in blastocyst and endometrial tissue under heatwave exposure. Moreover, our results demonstrated that rabbit embryos developed from 8-16 cells to blastocyst during a heatwave did not affect implantation rates, total number of kits born and foetal losses. In summary, these results demonstrate that heatwave period is not a critical point in the reproductive performance of rabbits during blastocyst formation.