BACKGROUND Time-lapse observation presents an opportunity for optimizing embryo selection based on morphological grading as well as providing novel kinetic parameters, which may further improve accurate selection of viable embryos. The objective of this retrospective study was to identify the morphokinetic parameters specific to embryos that were capable of implanting. In order to compare a large number of embryos, with minimal variation in culture conditions, we have used an automatic embryo monitoring system. METHODS Using a tri-gas IVF incubator with a built-in camera designed to automatically acquire images at defined time points, we have simultaneously monitored up to 72 individual embryos without removing the embryos from the controlled environment. Images were acquired every 15 min in five different focal planes for at least 64 h for each embryo. We have monitored the development of transferred embryos from 285 couples undergoing their first ICSI cycle. The total number of transferred embryos was 522, of which 247 either failed to implant or fully implanted, with full implantation meaning that all transferred embryos in a treatment implanted. RESULTS A detailed retrospective analysis of cleavage times, blastomere size and multinucleation was made for the 247 transferred embryos with either failed or full implantation. We found that several parameters were significantly correlated with subsequent implantation (e.g. time of first and subsequent cleavages as well as the time between cleavages). The most predictive parameters were: (i) time of division to 5 cells, t5 (48.8–56.6 h after ICSI); (ii) time between division to 3 cells and subsequent division to 4 cells, s2 (≤0.76 h) and (iii) duration of cell cycle two, i.e. time between division to 2 cells and division to 3 cells, cc2 (≤11.9 h). We also observed aberrant behavior such as multinucleation at the 4 cell stage, uneven blastomere size at the 2 cell stage and abrupt cell division to three or more cells, which appeared to largely preclude implantation. CONCLUSIONS The image acquisition and time-lapse analysis system makes it possible to determine exact timing of embryo cleavages in a clinical setting. We propose a multivariable model based on our findings to classify embryos according to their probability of implantation. The efficacy of this classification will be evaluated in a prospective randomized study that ultimately will determine if implantation rates can be improved by time-lapse analysis.
As a critical stage of pregnancy, the implantation of blastocysts into the endometrium is a progressive, excessively regulated local tissue remodeling step involving a complex sequence of genetic and cellular interplay executed within an optimal time frame. For better understanding the causes of infertility and, more importantly, for developing powerful strategies for successful implantations and combating infertility, an increasing number of recent studies have been focused on the identification and study of newly described substances in the reproductive tree. The endothelins (ET), a 21‐aminoacidic family of genes, have been reported to be responsible for the contraction of vascular and nonvascular smooth muscles, including the smooth muscles of the uterus. Therefore, this review aims to comprehensively discuss the physiological role of endothelins and signaling through their receptors, as well as their probable involvement in the implantation process.
It is well known that embryo implantation is a critical process in which embryo should be able to reach and attach to endometrium. Until now, various types of factors are involved in the regulation of this process. S100 proteins are calcium-binding proteins, which have vital roles in embryo implantation and have been considered as possible candidate markers for endometrial receptivity. However, studies regarding mode of actions of these proteins are scarce and more mechanistic insights are needed to clarify exact roles of each one of the S100 protein family. Understanding of function of these proteins in different compartments, stages, and phases of endometrium, could pave the way for conducting studies regarding the therapeutic significance of these proteins in some disorders such as recurrent implantation failure. In this review, we outlined roles and possible underlying mechanisms of S100 protein family in embryo implantation.
To study the role of during embryo implantation in rat. expression in rat early pregnancy was detected by Northern blot. The relation between and predicted and confirmed by bioinformatics method, dual-luciferase activity assay, Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The role of was detected by MTS, Edu and chamber assays. The expression level of on gestation day 5–8 (g.d. 5–8) was higher than on g.d. 3–4 in uteri of pregnant rat. was mainly localized in the superficial stroma/primary decidual zone, luminal and glandular epithelia. The expression of was not significantly influenced by pseudopregnancy, but the activation of delayed implantation and experimentally induced decidualization significantly promoted expression. Over-expression of in human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Knockdown of promoted cell proliferation and invasion. The results of recombinant luciferase reporters showed that could bind to the 3¢-untranslated region (UTR) of ( ) to inhibit translation. Uterine may be involved in the successful pregnancy, especially during the process of blastocyst implantation through regulating . This study may have the potential to provide new insights into the understanding of function during embryo implantation.
Macrophages are prominent in the uterus and ovary at conception. Here we utilize the Cd11b-Dtr mouse model of acute macrophage depletion to define the essential role of macrophages in early pregnancy. Macrophage depletion after conception caused embryo implantation arrest associated with diminished plasma progesterone and poor uterine receptivity. Implantation failure was alleviated by administration of bone marrow-derived CD11b(+)F4/80(+) monocytes/macrophages. In the ovaries of macrophage-depleted mice, corpora lutea were profoundly abnormal, with elevated Ptgs2, Hif1a, and other inflammation and apoptosis genes and with diminished expression of steroidogenesis genes Star, Cyp11a1, and Hsd3b1. Infertility was rescued by exogenous progesterone, which confirmed that uterine refractoriness was fully attributable to the underlying luteal defect. In normally developing corpora lutea, macrophages were intimately juxtaposed with endothelial cells and expressed the proangiogenic marker TIE2. After macrophage depletion, substantial disruption of the luteal microvascular network occurred and was associated with altered ovarian expression of genes that encode vascular endothelial growth factors. These data indicate a critical role for macrophages in supporting the extensive vascular network required for corpus luteum integrity and production of progesterone essential for establishing pregnancy. Our findings raise the prospect that disruption of macrophage-endothelial cell interactions underpinning corpus luteum development contributes to infertility in women in whom luteal insufficiency is implicated.
The molecular changes that support implantation in eutherian mammals are necessary to establish pregnancy. In marsupials, pregnancy is relatively short, and although a placenta does form, it is present for only a few days before parturition. However, morphological changes in the uterus of marsupials at term mimic those that occur during implantation in humans and mice. We investigated themolecular similarity between term pregnancy in the marsupials and implantation in eutherian mammals using the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica) as a model. Transcriptomic analysis shows that term pregnancy in the opossum is characterized by an inflammatory response consistent with implantation in humans and mice. This immune response is temporally correlated with the loss of the eggshell, and we used immunohistochemistry to report that this reaction occurs at the materno-fetal interface. We demonstrate that key markers of implantation, including Heparin binding EGF-like growth factor and Mucin 1, exhibit expression and localization profiles consistent with the pattern observed during implantation in eutherian mammals. Finally, we show that there are transcriptome-wide similarities between the opossum attachment reaction and implantation in rabbits and humans. Our data suggest that the implantation reaction that occurs in eutherians is derived froman attachment reaction in the ancestral therianmammal which, in the opossum, leads directly to parturition. Finally, we argue that the ability to shift from an inflammatory attachment reaction to a noninflammatory period of pregnancy was a key innovation in eutherian mammals that allowed an extended period of intimate placentation.
Every successful pregnancy requires proper embryo implantation. Low implantation rate is a major problem during infertility treatments using assisted reproductive technologies. Here we report a newly discovered molecular influence on implantation through the lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor LPA3 (refs 2-4). Targeted deletion of LPA3 in mice resulted in significantly reduced litter size, which could be attributed to delayed implantation and altered embryo spacing. These two events led to delayed embryonic development, hypertrophic placentas shared by multiple embryos and embryonic death. An enzyme demonstrated to influence implantation, cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) (ref. 5), was downregulated in LPA3-deficient uteri during pre-implantation. Downregulation of COX2 led to reduced levels of prostaglandins E2 and I2 (PGE2 and PGI2), which are critical for implantation. Exogenous administration of PGE2 or carbaprostacyclin (a stable analogue of PGI2) into LPA3-deficient female mice rescued delayed implantation but did not rescue defects in embryo spacing. These data identify LPA3 receptor-mediated signalling as having an influence on implantation, and further indicate linkage between LPA signalling and prostaglandin biosynthesis.
BACKGROUND Repeated implantation failure (RIF) is a major problem encountered in IVF. We have previously reported that RIF-IVF patients have a different endometrial gene expression profile during the window of implantation. Considering microRNA (miRNA) function in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, the aim of the study was to evaluate the involvement of miRNA in defects of endometrial receptivity. METHODS We used TaqMan miRNA array cards to identify the miRNAs differentially expressed in the secretory endometrium of RIF-IVF patients when compared with fertile women, and bioinformatics tools to identify their predicted targets and the molecular networks they may affect. RESULTS Comparing miRNA expression profiles, we identified 13 miRNAs, differentially expressed in RIF endometrial samples, that putatively regulate the expression of 3800 genes. We found that 10 miRNAs were overexpressed (including miR 145, 23b and 99a) and 3 were underexpressed. Using our previous gene expression analysis, we paralleled miRNA–mRNA expression profiling. By this means, we identified novel and previously characterized miRNA-regulated molecular pathways such as adherens junctions, cell adhesion molecules, Wnt-signaling, p53 signaling and cell cycle pathways. Consistent with the miRNA-predicted targets, mRNA levels of N-cadherin, H2AFX, netrin-4 and secreted frizzled-related protein-4, belonging to the cell adhesion molecules, Wnt signaling and cell cycle pathways were lower in RIF-IVF patients. CONCLUSIONS To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the differential expression of miRNAs in the secretory endometrium of RIF-IVF patients. We suggest that the RIF-associated miRNAs could be exploited as new candidates for diagnosis and treatment of embryo implantation failures.
The implantation process is complex, requiring reciprocal interactions between implantation-competent blastocysts and the receptive uterus. Because microRNAs (miRNAs) have major roles in regulating gene expression, we speculated that they participate in directing the highly regulated spatiotemporally expressed genetic network during implantation. Here, we show that two miRNAs, mmu-miR-101a and mmu-miR-199a*, are spatiotemporally expressed in the mouse uterus during implantation coincident with expression of cyclooxygenase-2, a gene critical for implantation. More interestingly, our in vitro gain- and loss-of-function experiments show that cyclooxygenase-2 expression is posttranscriptionally regulated by these two miRNAs. We report on miRNA-mediated regulation of uterine gene expression in the context of implantation. We believe that many other critical genes related to this process are also regulated by miRNAs. Thus, elucidating the physiological roles of uterine miRNAs will help us better understand the genetic control of implantation, the gateway to a successful pregnancy.