2005 Volume 51 Issue 2 Pages 281-287
This study examined the association between redox status in the oviduct and early embryonic death in heat-stressed mice. In Experiment 1, non-pregnant mice were heat-stressed at 35 C with 60% relative humidity for 12, 24, or 36 h, and the maternal redox status was verified by measuring the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radical scavenging activity (FRSA) in the oviduct, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in the liver. In Experiment 2, zygotes were collected from mice heat-stressed for 12 h on the day of pregnancy, and their developmental abilities were assessed in vitro, along with the intensity of DNA damage at the 2-cell stage. The TBARS value and GSH-Px activity in the liver, and ROS level in the oviduct were significantly higher in heat-stressed mice, and this increase appeared to depend on the duration of the heat stress. Maternal heat stress significantly reduced the percentage of zygotes that developed to the morula and blastocyst and the total cell number in the blastocyst. In addition, DNA damage at the 2-cell stage was significantly higher in maternally heat-stressed embryos. These results suggest that heat stress induces systemic changes in redox status in the maternal body, and the resultant increase in oxidative stress in the oviduct is possibly involved in heat stress-induced early embryonic death .