IVF affects embryonic development in a sex-biased manner in mice

Reproduction : the Official Journal of the Society for the Study of Fertility
Kun TanJianhui Tian


Increasing evidence indicates that IVF (IVF includes in vitro fertilization and culture) embryos and babies are associated with a series of health complications, and some of them show sex-dimorphic patterns. Therefore, we hypothesized that IVF procedures have sex-biased or even sex-specific effects on embryonic and fetal development. Here, we demonstrate that IVF-induced side effects show significant sexual dimorphic patterns from the pre-implantation to the prenatal stage. During the pre-implantation stage, female IVF embryos appear to be more vulnerable to IVF-induced effects, including an increased percentage of apoptosis (7.22 ± 1.94 vs 0.71 ± 0.76, P<0.01), and dysregulated expression of representative sex-dimorphic genes (Xist, Hprt, Pgk1 and Hsp70). During the mid-gestation stage, IVF males had a higher survival rate than IVF females at E13.5 (male:female=1.33:1), accompanied with a female-biased pregnancy loss. In addition, while both IVF males and females had reduced placental vasculogenesis/angiogenesis, the compensatory placental overgrowth was more evident in IVF males. During the late-gestation period, IVF fetuses had a higher sex ratio (male:female=1.48:1) at E19.5, and both male and female IVF placentas showed ov...Continue Reading


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Apoptosis is a specific process that leads to programmed cell death through the activation of an evolutionary conserved intracellular pathway leading to pathognomic cellular changes distinct from cellular necrosis