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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 878062, 14 pages
Research Article

Prooxidant Effects of Verbascoside, a Bioactive Compound from Olive Oil Mill Wastewater, on In Vitro Developmental Potential of Ovine Prepubertal Oocytes and Bioenergetic/Oxidative Stress Parameters of Fresh and Vitrified Oocytes

1Section of Veterinary Clinics and Animal Production, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Strada Provincial Casamassima Km 3, Valenzano, 70010 Bari, Italy
2Obstetric and Gynecological Section, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy
3Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy
4Institute of Translational Pharmacology (IFT), National Research Council (CNR), Via Fosso del Cavaliere No. 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
5Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), National Research Council (CNR), Via G. Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy
6Department of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 10 June 2013; Revised 3 December 2013; Accepted 8 December 2013; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Maha Zaki Rizk

Copyright © 2014 M. E. Dell'Aquila et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Verbascoside (VB) is a bioactive polyphenol from olive oil mill wastewater with known antioxidant activity. Oxidative stress is an emerging problem in assisted reproductive technology (ART). Juvenile ART is a promising topic because, in farm animals, it reduces the generation gap and, in human reproductive medicine, it helps to overcome premature ovarian failure. The aim of this study was to test the effects of VB on the developmental competence of ovine prepubertal oocytes and the bioenergetic/oxidative stress status of fresh and vitrified oocytes. In fresh oocytes, VB exerted prooxidant short-term effects, that is, catalase activity increase and uncoupled increases of mitochondria and reactive oxygen species (ROS) fluorescence signals, and long-term effects, that is, reduced blastocyst formation rate. In vitrified oocytes, VB increased ROS levels. Prooxidant VB effects in ovine prepubertal oocytes could be related to higher VB accumulation, which was found as almost one thousand times higher than that reported in other cell systems in previous studies. Also, long exposure times of oocytes to VB, throughout the duration of in vitro maturation culture, may have contributed to significant increase of oocyte oxidation. Further studies are needed to identify lower concentrations and/or shorter exposure times to figure out VB antioxidant effects in juvenile ARTs.