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IVF--new and disturbing research

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  • IVF--new and disturbing research

    I linked to the abstract and paper in my other thread on research, but you all really need to read this abstract. It raises some disturbing questions about in vitro fertilization and placental anomalies. The authors were French.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0009218

    Quote:
    Abstract

    Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) are increasingly used in humans; however, their impact is now questioned. At blastocyst stage, the trophectoderm is directly in contact with an artificial medium environment, which can impact placental development. This study was designed to carry out an in-depth analysis of the placental transcriptome after ART in mice.
    Methodology/Principal Findings

    Blastocysts were transferred either (1) after in vivo fertilization and development (control group) or (2) after in vitro fertilization and embryo culture. Placentas were then analyzed at E10.5. Six percent of transcripts were altered at the two-fold threshold in placentas of manipulated embryos, 2/3 of transcripts being down-regulated. Strikingly, the X-chromosome harbors 11% of altered genes, 2/3 being induced. Imprinted genes were modified similarly to the X. Promoter composition analysis indicates that FOXA transcription factors may be involved in the transcriptional deregulations.

    Conclusions

    For the first time, our study shows that in vitro fertilization associated with embryo culture strongly modify the placental expression profile, long after embryo manipulations, meaning that the stress of artificial environment is memorized after implantation. Expression of X and imprinted genes is also greatly modulated probably to adapt to adverse conditions. Our results highlight the importance of studying human placentas from ART.
    Last edited by vineyridge; Feb. 13, 2010, 09:04 AM. Reason: requested title change
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  • #2
    Hi Vineyridge,

    Can you please post the reference to this article?

    I am not surprised in the least. It is the same story for embryonic stem cell culture. No one KNOWS what the exact environment is for cells following a certain program - or embryos becoming functional embryos. People make their best guess with specific cell culture media and serum and other conditions.

    Placental development is highly complex and invokes maternal responses that are not even wholey defined. I'm not surprised...
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Reference is already linked at the top of the quote. It's the blue line to PLos ONE.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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      • #4
        Hmmmmm, can't explain how I missed that one. Thanks!
        <later>
        Hmmmmm, getting a "page cannot be found" error. Can you give me the name of the authors or the title?
        Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Culture Strongly Impact the Placental Transcriptome in the Mouse Model

          This link might work:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0009218
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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          • #6
            This might be a cause for concern in the equine EXCEPT....:
            • In vitro fertilization is not performed in the equine (there have only ever been 2 foals successfully produced by IVF);
            • The equine placenta is formed differently and at a different stage from that of the human (or mouse);
            • Even if the above were to present concerns in the equine, at the blastocyst stage at the time of embryo transfer, the equine conceptus is surrounded by "the capsule" (a unique acellular glycoprotein between the trophectoderm and the overlying zona pellucida), so the interior blatocyst cells (and therefore the embryonic cells) are not exposed directly to any media.
            Hence, if you are producing horses, you have nothing to worry about, however, if you are planning on using IVF for your own personal (i.e. human) purposes, you may have something to worry about. Or not.
            Last edited by Equine Reproduction; Feb. 13, 2010, 12:09 AM. Reason: added the information about the "capsule"
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
              This might be a cause for concern in the equine EXCEPT....:
              • In vitro fertilization is not performed in the equine (there have only ever been 2 foals successfully produced by IVF);
              • The equine placenta is formed differently and at a different stage from that of the human (or mouse);
              • Even if the above were to present concerns in the equine, at the blastocyst stage at the time of embryo transfer, the equine conceptus is surrounded by "the capsule" (a unique acellular glycoprotein between the trophectoderm and the overlying zona pellucida), so the interior blatocyst cells (and therefore the embryonic cells) are not exposed directly to any media.
              Hence, if you are producing horses, you have nothing to worry about, however, if you are planning on using IVF for your own personal (i.e. human) purposes, you may have something to worry about. Or not.
              This.

              You may want to change the article title as this abstract is about IVF and embryo culture and not AI ( Artificial insemination)

              As the Momma of a few IVF blastocysts myself, while this may be a concern, and of course worthy of continued research, my own experience yielded an implantation rate/ongoing pregnancy rate of 77% with my transferred blastocysts. I was an old lady reproductively at the time.

              Is it better than natural? Probably not. Is/are there more placental abnormalities with these pregnancies? Maybe yes but you are already starting with a human population that has possible reproductive/genetic/age issues so LOTS more science has to take place to decide.

              Not to mention there is a whole lot of success with blasts especially. My Blasts are a blast ( and a blessing) every day!
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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Color me ignorant, but I thought there was a new technique being used where the egg and a single sperm were being "mated" in a laboratory by human manipulation. How is that done unless it's with IVF? What about cloning? Isn't that done in a lab?

                Thanks for the information about the special qualities of horse fertilization and blastocyst protection.
                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                  Color me ignorant, but I thought there was a new technique being used where the egg and a single sperm were being "mated" in a laboratory by human manipulation. How is that done unless it's with IVF? What about cloning? Isn't that done in a lab?
                  The document cited refers to ART (assisted reproductive technologies) which does include ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) and nuclear transfer ("cloning") but as noted, the whole issue is moot in the equine, as the early embryonic processes and placental formation process are completely different. If you review the abstract you provided, they are evaluating placentae at 10.5 days - there isn't a placenta at 10.5 days in the equine! The conceptus is still mobile within the uterus at that point, and the equine placenta does not commence implantation until about 45 days (and is not completed until about 140 days). The giveaway phrase indicating the differences between the species in this research is "At blastocyst stage, the trophectoderm is directly in contact with an artificial medium environment, which can impact placental development.

                  Hope this helps.
                  Last edited by Equine Reproduction; Feb. 13, 2010, 11:01 AM. Reason: Reviewed specific references again and made more definitive observations relative to same.
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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks, Kathy.

                    I still find this disturbing in several ways, the most being the fact that we have been doing IVF in humans for what seems to me to be generations , and it's only now that this research is coming to the fore.

                    I guess it's sort of a "who really knows" at this point in time with all the assisted reproduction techniques that we are using in people and horses--and cattle. Don't know if chickens have reached assisted breeding yet.
                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                      Thanks, Kathy.

                      I still find this disturbing in several ways, the most being the fact that we have been doing IVF in humans for what seems to me to be generations , and it's only now that this research is coming to the fore.

                      I guess it's sort of a "who really knows" at this point in time with all the assisted reproduction techniques that we are using in people and horses--and cattle. Don't know if chickens have reached assisted breeding yet.
                      The youngest test-tube baby in the US is 28 or 29 now, so not a lot of data on how those babies reproduce, and if they have fertility issues or not.

                      But they are using AI in chickens, geese, and ducks. Certain breeds have a very low fertility rate without it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
                        The youngest test-tube baby in the US is 28 or 29 now, so not a lot of data on how those babies reproduce, and if they have fertility issues or not.

                        But they are using AI in chickens, geese, and ducks. Certain breeds have a very low fertility rate without it.
                        There is still a big difference between using AI and IVF.

                        AI is the primary means of reproducing for cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and it is definitely growing in the horse world. Sheep haven't caught on.

                        I can speak to my experience doing IVF with porcine oocytes. It is very tricky indeed! I was using fresh extended semen, which should have been easier to do than frozen, but I had a heck of a learning curve just to get an embryo with a male pronucleus at 18h post sperm inclusion. The procedures are different for each species, and even within species, can differ with fresh vs. frozen semen. You'd be amazed how many sperm could not get the job done when placed in 100-microliters of fertilization media and 30 oocytes (insert all sorts of jokes here). I have seen equine papers in my literature searches related to IVF, but not that resulted in live foals being born. I would not be surprised with placental and other issues coming up as a result of IVF. There is simply too much we don't know about the procedures. The artificial media could induce changes in gene expression or it could just be from some sort of stress alone. There are still many modifications to be made to the IVF procedure to hone it across all species.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          Color me ignorant, but I thought there was a new technique being used where the egg and a single sperm were being "mated" in a laboratory by human manipulation. How is that done unless it's with IVF? What about cloning? Isn't that done in a lab?

                          Thanks for the information about the special qualities of horse fertilization and blastocyst protection.
                          ICSI - intercytoplasmic sperm injection is the procedure in which they inject one single spern into the oocyte. It always goes with IVF - you will often see it written as IVF/ICSI. Not all IVF requires ICSI but all ICSI requires IVF. You must "have" the oocyte to be able to inject the sperm. ICSI has been used widely for approaching 15 + years now. It is used for male infertility with low or abnormal sperm counts or other sperm morphology problem.

                          The abstract you have posted does not mention ICSI. Mouse embryos are used for many quality control issues in human embryology labs and ART research. In this abstract they are looking at the possible effect the artificial media has on the developing placenta. In the blastocyst you have two components- 1/2 of the ball of dividing cells in becoming the fetus and the other half - the trophoectoderm is becoming the placenta. Obviously both are vitally important. The "concern" of this article is that IVF blastocysts pregnancies ( which in a human a blast is a 5 day embryo- 5 days after fertilization and usually the day it's transferred back the uterus, the other optionis usually day 3 at optimal 8 cells at that time) could have placental issues therefore leading to miscarriage and other pregnancy complications and losses.

                          As I mentioned before, since the population of people who use ART already often have some issue that is precluding NL conception it is often hard to determine which issue is actually the issue... for example is the miscarriage caused by the clotting issues the mother already has or the placental issues from the culture media contact of the developing placenta.

                          Last but not least, even though this may be true and is certainly worth research, blastocyst culture is extremely successful and has shown no more propensity to produce birth or genetic defects than those present in the normal population.
                          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cool-S...m/251196806403

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