Can time-lapse parameters and the transcriptional profile of cumulus cells be used to achieve a more stringent and non-invasive method of embryo assessment and to identify possible factors affecting the embryo's ability to implant in repeated implantation failure (RIF) patients?
A total of 190 embryos from 18 oocyte donors and 145 embryos from 15 RIF patients were evaluated based on time-lapse parameters. Three morphokinetic parameters including T5 (time to reach five cells), T3 (time to reach three cells) and CC2 (time to two to three cells) were recorded for all embryos. Embryos that had all three parameters in the normal range were graded as high quality and comparison between these parameters were compared in high-quality embryos between two groups. The transcriptional profile of cumulus cells related to high-quality embryos of both groups were analysed by RNA sequencing and compared. Finally, the possible relationship between differentially expressed genes and time-lapse parameters was examined.
T5 was significantly lower in the RIF group than the donor group (P = 0.011). The cumulus cell transcriptome analysis showed 193 genes were down-regulated and 222 genes up-regulated. The mammalian target of rapamycin and the transforming growth factor beta pathways were significantly increased in the RIF group compared to the donor group (P = 0.007 and 0.01, respectively). Vitamin B12 and fatty acid beta-oxidation pathways were also significantly reduced in the RIF group compared to the donor group (P = 0.006 and 0.01, respectively).
Differences in the transcriptomic profiles of cumulus cells and some morphokinetic parameters may be one of the main factors contributing to unexplained RIF.
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Dr Azam Govahi is a graduate of reproductive biology from the Iran University of Medical Sciences. She is currently working in the Endometriosis Research Center of the Iran University of Medical Sciences and conducting research in the field of female infertility.
Differences were found between the transcriptional profiles of cumulus cells and the morphokinetic parameter T5 of embryos from repeated implantation failure (RIF) and healthy fertile women. Differences in transcriptomic profiling of cumulus cells and some morphokinetic parameters may be factors contributing to implantation failure in unexplained RIF.
Published online: December 20, 2022
Accepted: December 16, 2022
Received in revised form: November 30, 2022
Received: September 6, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Journal Pre-Proof
Declaration: The authors report no financial or commercial conflicts of interest.
© 2022 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.