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Researchers develop a method to select eggs with the best chance of leading to successful pregnancy
Date:3/12/2008

This release is available in French.

Quebec City, March 12, 2008A research team supervised by Universit Laval scientist Marc-Andr Sirard has identified genetic markers that allow the selection of eggs with the best chance of leading to successful pregnancy after in vitro fertilization (IVF). This finding could both increase the success rate of single embryo transfer and diminish the risk of multiple pregnancies. The details of the method developed by the researchers, for which an international patent application has been filed, are explained on the website of the scientific journal Human Reproduction.

Eggs recovered in the course of the IVF process are surrounded by follicular cells that are removed before the actual fertilization procedure begins. While in the ovaries, these cells and the eggs are in very close interaction, explains Sirard. A first experiment we conducted on bovine follicular cells led us to believe that these cells might possess specific markers that would be able to give us information about the quality of an egg.

With the help of 40 women recruited in a fertility clinic, researchers compared follicular cells surrounding eggs that ultimately led to successful pregnanciesi.e. good eggsto cells surrounding ovules that did not result in pregnancy. This comparison led to the identification of five genes expressed more abundantly in follicular cells surrounding good eggs.

Currently, the way to assess which embryos are to be transferred into a womans uterus is based on visible criteria such as appearance and division rate. At least 30% of embryos that look normal through visual examination nonetheless show chromosome abnormalities, explains Professor Sirard, illustrating the limits of this type of assessment. The method developed by Sirards team makes it possible to objectively select ovules that have the best chance of succe
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Contact: Jean-Franois Hupp
jean-francois.huppe@dap.ulaval.ca
418-656-7785
Universit Laval
Source:Eurekalert

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