Mitochondrial DNA quantity as a biomarker for blastocyst implantation potential

Mounting evidence supports the hypothesis that blastocysts having unusually high levels of mitochondrial DNA detected in the trophectoderm have greatly reduced implantation potential.

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Volume 108, Issue 5, Pages 742–747

Authors:

Dagan Wells, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Of all the factors currently available for the evaluation of embryonic potential, chromosomal status appears to be the most definitive. The debate around this hotly contested issue does not focus on the question of whether aneuploidy is detrimental to development, but on whether current preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy methods are capable of accurately determining whether an embryo is chromosomally normal, aneuploid or a mixture of normal and abnormal cells (i.e., mosaic). Despite the importance of aneuploidy, it is clear that this is only one factor amongst many of relevance to embryo viability, as evidenced by the fact that even the transfer of a chromosomally normal embryo cannot guarantee a pregnancy. Mounting evidence supports the hypothesis that blastocysts having unusually high levels of mitochondrial DNA detected in the trophectoderm have greatly reduced implantation potential, but there remain significant areas where further validation is necessary and where our understanding is currently inadequate. This should provide fertile ground for future research and is likely to yield some fascinating insights in the coming years.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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