Mitochondria as a tool for oocyte rejuvenation

This review summarizes the different techniques that have been tested for mitochondrial supplementation from both heterologous and autologous sources with the aim of improving oocyte quality.

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Volume 111, Issue 2, Pages 219–226


Elena Labarta, M.D., Ph.D., Maria José de los Santos, Ph.D., Maria José Escribá, Ph.D., Antonio Pellicer, M.D., Sonia Herraiz, Ph.D.


Ovarian aging leads to a decrease in the quantity and quality of oocytes. Aged oocytes have significantly reduced amounts of mitochondria, the energy factories of cells, leading to lower fertilization rates and poor embryonic development. Various techniques have tried to use heterologous or autologous sources of mitochondria to reestablish oocyte health by providing more energy. However, heterologous sources are no longer used owing to the known risk of heteroplasmy. Although autologous methods have recently been tested in humans, they have not shown a clear improvement in embryo quality. In this review, we describe the techniques that have been tested in recent years to provide a state of the art on oocyte rejuvenation through extra injection of mitochondria.

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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.