Detection of ovine Lentivirus in the cumulus cells, but not in the oocytes or follicular fluid, of naturally infected sheep

University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Theriogenology (Impact Factor: 1.85). 10/2006; 66(5):1131-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2006.03.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to examine the Maedi-Visna virus (MVV) infection status of oocytes, cumulus cells, and follicular fluid taken from 140 ewes from breeding flocks. MVV proviral-DNA and MVV RNA were detected using nested-PCR and RT-PCR MVV gene amplification, respectively in the gag gene. Nested-PCR analysis for MVV proviral-DNA was positive in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 37.1% (52/140) of ewes and in 44.6% (125/280) of ovarian cortex samples. The examination of samples taken from ovarian follicles demonstrated that 8/280 batches of cumulus cells contained MVV proviral-DNA, whereas none of the 280 batches of oocytes taken from the same ovaries and whose cumulus cells has been removed, was found to be PCR positive. This was confirmed by RT-PCR analysis showing no MVV-viral RNA detection in all batches of oocytes without cumulus cells (0/280) and follicular fluid samples taken from the last 88 ovaries (0/88). The purity of the oocyte fraction and the efficacy of cumulus cell removal from oocytes was proved by absence of granulosa cell-specific mRNA in all batches of oocytes lacking the cumulus cells, using RT-PCR. This is the first demonstration that ewe cumulus cells harbor MVV genome and despite being in contact with these infected-cumulus cells, the oocytes and follicular fluid remain free from infection. In addition, the enzymatic and mechanical procedures we used to remove infected-cumulus cells surrounding the oocytes, are effective to generate MVV free-oocytes from MVV-infected ewes.

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