Effects of Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic Acid (RGD) Containing Snake Venom Peptides on Parthenogenetic Development and In Vitro Fertilization of Bovine Oocytes

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Mole. Reprod. Devel.



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The ability of synthetic arginine‐glycine‐aspartic acid (RGD)‐containing peptides to induce intracellular calcium transients similar to those observed at fertilization by spermatozoa in the bovine has been reported (Campbell et al., 2000: Biol Reprod 62:1702–1709; Sessions et al., 2006. Mol Reprod Dev). These results also indicated the ability of synthetic RGD‐containing peptides to induce activation and subsequent parthenogenetic development to the blastocyst stage, although, at numbers lower than observed with control in vitro fertilization (IVF). Evidence has been provided indicating the important effect of surrounding regions on the biological activity of the RGD sequence (Zhu and Evans, 2002; Sessions et al., 2006). The current experiments were designed to use natural RGD‐containing sequences (disintegrins) to understand their effects. A total of three RGD‐containing snake venom peptides (Kistrin (K), Elegantin (Ele), and Echistatin (Ech)) and one nonRGD‐containing venom (Erabutoxin B (EB; control) were used at three concentrations (0.1, 1, and 10 µg /ml) to induce parthenogenetic development to the blastocyst stage and in conjunction (1.0, 5.0, and 10 µg/ml) with spermatozoa to evaluate competitive inhibition of fertilization and subsequent development. A (P < 0.01) higher number of bovine oocytes developed to the blastocyst stage after incubation with K, Ele and Ech at 1.0 µg/ml, and was not different (P > 0.01) from IVF control. Fertilization was significantly reduced (P < 0.01) at all concentrations of K, Ele and Ech as compared to IVF control. No reduction (P > 0.05) was observed in EB (nonRGD) treated oocytes. These results support the involvement of a disintegrin–integrin interaction at fertilization in the bovine resulting in activation and subsequent development.