Choosing the best eggs for IVF


Choosing the best eggs for IVF

Choosing the best eggs for

BROWN (US) - Gathering genetic information without harming the eggs will help us identify which eggs will possibly become the most viable embryos for in vitro fertilization states a new procedure

Based on the findings published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, it appears that a team of biologists and physicians, in a scientific first, were able to sequence mRNA or the transcribed genetic material in egg cells in smaller structures pinched off from them called “polar bodies.”

The finding also states that the researchers were able to determine the genetic activity of host eggs was faithfully reflected in their respective polar bodies by comparing the gene expression sequences of both.

The director of the Center for Reproduction and Infertility at Women & Infants Hospital, Sandra Carson who is also a co-author and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University says that they can now consider the polar body a natural cytoplasmic biopsy

The cells dispense with the second copies of chromosomes they don’t need as sex cells in the polar bodies. Egg’s mRNA is the genetic material when a cell is set to make proteins based on genetic instructions after the genes have been transcribed whose microcosm is captured by the polar bodies nevertheless.

Pairs of genes

Just after becoming the first to find mRNA in human polar bodies last year, the team has now established that what is in the polar bodies is a good proxy for what is in the eggs after transcribing it in 22 pairs of human eggs and their polar bodies.

Gary Wessel, professor of biology, says that the task wasn’t easy given that only little mRNA is present in polar bodies. Lead author and graduate student Adrian Reich and second author Peter Klatsky’s combination of clever amplification and analysis techniques helped the team to get it done.

Wessel says that because there was so little material this should not have worked. He further adds that single-cell sequencing is very challenging.

The samples were analyzed in two pools of 10 cells each, comparing mRNA in 10 eggs with mRNA in the 10 related polar bodies by the team to be cautious. And they were surprised when they were able to directly sequence two individual eggs and polar bodies.

The genes expressed in the eggs surpass the count of 14,000. The rate of genes detected in the polar bodies which were also detected in the eggs was more than 90%. The 460 were also the most abundant genes in the eggs out of the 700 most abundant genes which were found in the polar bodies.

Nearing clinical use

Carson says that what’s in the egg is reflected in the polar body. He further states that we can get a clue into what is happening during the first three days of human embryo development by what we are finding in the polar body as the egg is the major driver during that time.

The next major step would be finding which genes impact embryo viability for which a clinically useful tool will be created requiring more research.

We could track the progress of the resulting embryos with the new knowledge and developed techniques in their study by analyzing the mRNA from the polar bodies of the eggs.

After knowing the key genes, the clinicians and patients would be able to pick the best eggs as they could create fast assays to look for those genes in the polar bodies. In order to choose which eggs to bank for later use we may also take the help of efficient developed technology.

Carson says they have the words, but not the sentences while explaining that they can’t find out what those messages are doing or comprehend the purpose of them in the cell function which they are hoping to resolve in the future.

Sigma-Aldrich, a research reagent supplier and see grants from Brown University office of the Provost, the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health of Women & Infants Hospital funded the research.

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