Advertisement

Polar body morphology and spindle imaging as predictors of oocyte quality

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.

      Abstract

      It has been suggested that first polar body (PBI) morphology reflects oocyte competence. Oocytes with an intact normal-sized PBI have been described as generating better day 2 embryos, higher blastocyst yield, and increased pregnancy and implantation rates. In other studies, PBI morphology was found to be unrelated to fertilization rate, embryo quality, and blastocyst formation. In a prospective analysis, the predictive value of the PBI was investigated by comparing the development of oocytes retrieved from intracytoplasmic sperm injection patients and displaying different PBI morphology, classified according to the following characteristics: normal size and smooth surface (I), fragmented (II), rough surface (III), or large size (IV). Fertilization rates were 59, 57, 64 and 60% respectively. No significant differences were found between the various groups. The proportions of high quality (grade A) day 2 embryos were also comparable among groups I–III (14, 12 and 17% respectively), while the low number of grade A embryos in group IV (two embryos) did not allow comparison with the other classes. These data do not suggest that PBI selection can contribute to identification of embryos with high developmental ability. In order to establish alternative criteria for oocyte selection, a metaphase II (MII) spindle analysis was also conducted via Polscope. In oocytes of patients of different age, spindle retardance (which reflects the high order and density of microtubules) was compared with parameters of embryo development. In aged patients, a trend was observed between low retardance and poor embryo quality, although in general the association between retardance and oocyte developmental performance did not reach statistical significance.

      Keywords

      References

        • Albertini DF
        • Sanfins A
        • Combelles CM
        Origins and manifestations of oocyte maturation competencies.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2003; 6: 410-415
        • Balaban B
        • Urman B
        • Sertac A
        • et al.
        Oocyte morphology does not affect fertilization rate, embryo quality and implantation rate after intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
        Human Reproduction. 1998; 13: 3431-3433
        • Battaglia DE
        • Goodwin P
        • Klein NA
        • et al.
        Influence of maternal age on meiotic spindle assembly in oocytes from naturally cycling women.
        Human Reproduction. 1996; 11: 2217-2222
      1. Bianchi V, Coticchio G, Fava L et al. 2005 Meiotic spindle imaging by Polscope in human oocytes frozen with a slow freezing procedure involving high sucrose concentration. Human Reproduction, in press.

        • Boiso I
        • Veiga A
        • Edwards RG
        Fundamentals of human embryonic growth in vitro and the selection of high-quality embryos for transfer.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2002; 5: 328-350
        • Borini A
        • Coticchio G
        • Flamigni C
        Oocyte freezing: a positive comment based on our experience.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2003; 7: 120
        • Borini A
        • Bonu MA
        • Coticchio G
        • et al.
        Pregnancies and births after oocyte cryopreservation.
        Fertility and Sterility. 2004; 82: 601-605
        • Cheung A
        • Swann K
        • Carroll J
        The ability to generate normal Ca2+ transients in response to spermatozoa develops during the final stages of oocyte growth and maturation.
        Human Reproduction. 2000; 15: 1389-1395
        • Choi T
        • Fukasawa K
        • Zhou R
        • et al.
        The Mos/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway regulates the size and degradation of the first polar body in maturing mouse oocytes.
        Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 1996; 93: 7032-7035
        • Ciotti PM
        • Notarangelo L
        • Morselli-Labate AM
        • et al.
        First polar body morphology before ICSI is not related to embryo quality or pregnancy rate.
        Human Reproduction. 2004; 19: 2334-2339
        • Cohen Y
        • Malcov M
        • Schwartz T
        • et al.
        Spindle imaging: a new marker for optimal timing of ICSI?.
        Human Reproduction. 2004; 19: 649-654
        • Cooke S
        • Tyler JP
        • Driscoll GL
        Meiotic spindle location and identification and its effect on embryonic cleavage plane and early development.
        Human Reproduction. 2003; 18: 2397-2405
        • Ebner T
        • Moser M
        • Yaman C
        • et al.
        Elective transfer of embryos selected on the basis of first polar body morphology is associated with increased rates of implantation and pregnancy.
        Fertility and Sterility. 1999; 72: 599-603
        • Ebner T
        • Yaman C
        • Moser M
        • et al.
        Prognostic value of first polar body morphology on fertilization rate and embryo quality in intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
        Human Reproduction. 2000; 15: 427-430
        • Ebner T
        • Moser M
        • Sommergruber M
        • et al.
        First polar body morphology and blastocyst formation rate in ICSI patients.
        Human Reproduction. 2002; 17: 2415-2418
        • Eichenlaub-Ritter U
        • Schmiady H
        • Kentenich H
        • et al.
        Recurrent failure in polar body formation and premature chromosome condensation in oocytes from a human patient: indicators of asynchrony in nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation.
        Human Reproduction. 1995; 10: 2343-2349
        • Eichenlaub-Ritter U
        • Shen Y
        • Tinneberg HR
        Manipulation of the oocyte: possible damage to the spindle apparatus.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2002; 5: 117-124
        • Gerris J
        • Van Royen E
        Avoiding multiple pregnancies in ART: a plea for single embryo transfer.
        Human Reproduction. 2000; 15: 1884-1888
        • Keefe D
        • Liu L
        • Wang W
        • et al.
        Imaging meiotic spindles by polarization light microscopy: principles and applications to IVF.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2003; 7: 24-29
        • Moon JH
        • Hyun CS
        • Lee SW
        • et al.
        Visualization of the metaphase II meiotic spindle in living human oocytes using the Polscope enables the prediction of embryonic developmental competence after ICSI.
        Human Reproduction. 2003; 18: 817-820
        • Oldenbourg R
        • Salmon ED
        • Tran PT
        Birefringence of single and bundled microtubules.
        Biophysical Journal. 1998; 74: 645-654
        • Rienzi L
        • Ubaldi F
        • Martinez F
        • et al.
        Relationship between meiotic spindle location with regard to the polar body position and oocyte developmental potential after ICSI.
        Human Reproduction. 2003; 18: 1289-1293
        • Rienzi L
        • Ubaldi F
        • Iacobelli M
        • et al.
        Meiotic spindle visualization in living human oocytes.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2005; 10: 192-198
        • Sanfins A
        • Lee GY
        • Plancha CE
        • et al.
        Distinctions in meiotic spindle structure and assembly during in vitro and in vivo maturation of mouse oocytes.
        Biology of Reproduction. 2003; 69: 2059-2067
        • Serhal PF
        • Ranieri DM
        • Kinis A
        • et al.
        Oocyte morphology predicts outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
        Human Reproduction. 1997; 12: 1267-1270
        • Stachecki JJ
        • Munne S
        • Cohen J
        Spindle organization after cryopreservation of mouse, human, and bovine oocytes.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2004; 8: 664-672
        • Sun XF
        • Wang WH
        • Keefe DL
        Overheating is detrimental to meiotic spindles within in vitro matured human oocytes.
        Zygote. 2004; 12: 65-70
        • Trimarchi JR
        • Karin RA
        • Keefe DL
        Average spindle retardance observed using the PolScope predicts cell number in day 3 embryos.
        Fertility and Sterility. 2004; 82: S268
        • Van de Velde H
        • Nagy ZP
        • Joris H
        • et al.
        Effects of different hyaluronidase concentrations and mechanical procedures for cumulus cell removal on the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
        Human Reproduction. 1997; 12: 2246-2250
        • Veeck L
        An Atlas of Human Gametes and Conceptuses. Parthenon Publishing group, New York1999
        • Verlhac MH
        • Lefebvre C
        • Guillaud P
        • et al.
        Asymmetric division in mouse oocytes: with or without Mos.
        Current Biology. 2000; 10: 1303-1306
        • Verlinsky Y
        • Lerner S
        • Illkevitch N
        • et al.
        Is there any predictive value of first polar body morphology for embryo genotype or developmental potential?.
        Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2003; 7: 336-341
        • Wang WH
        • Meng L
        • Hackett RJ
        • et al.
        Developmental ability of human oocytes with or without birefringent spindles imaged by polscope before insemination.
        Human Reproduction. 2001; 16: 1464-1468
        • Wang WH
        • Meng L
        • Hackett RJ
        • et al.
        The spindle observation and its relationship with fertilization after intracytoplasmic sperm injection in living human oocytes.
        Fertility and Sterility. 2001; 75: 348-353
        • Winston NJ
        • McGuinness O
        • Johnson MH
        • et al.
        The exit of mouse oocytes from meiotic M-phase requires an intact spindle during intracellular calcium release.
        Journal of Cell Science. 1995; 108: 143-151
        • Xia P
        Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: correlation of oocyte grade based on polar body, perivitelline space and cytoplasmic inclusions with fertilization rate and embryo quality.
        Human Reproduction. 1997; 12: 1750-1755

      Biography

      Lucia De Santis graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Milan, Italy in 1993 collaborating in a research project on the involvement of c-myc oncogene expression in non-small cell lung carcinoma. Concurrently, for 5 years up to 1994, she was associated with the Surgical Pathology Department at the University of Milan, contributing to the Quantitative Pathology Service there and developing extensive experience in DNA flow cytometric analysis of solid tumours and in immunohistochemistry. In 1995 she established the IVF laboratory facilities of S. Raffaele Hospital, also in Milan. Since then she has had a major role in developing a large IVF programme introducing over the years basic and more advanced techniques after attending courses at leading assisted reproduction centres. In January 2005 she was appointed laboratory director. Her current interests concern fundamental and clinical aspects of oocyte cryopreservation.