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Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 24;7:10809. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10809.

Human oocyte developmental potential is predicted by mechanical properties within hours after fertilization.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University School of Engineering, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
2
Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
4
Department of Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA.

Abstract

The causes of embryonic arrest during pre-implantation development are poorly understood. Attempts to correlate patterns of oocyte gene expression with successful embryo development have been hampered by the lack of reliable and nondestructive predictors of viability at such an early stage. Here we report that zygote viscoelastic properties can predict blastocyst formation in humans and mice within hours after fertilization, with >90% precision, 95% specificity and 75% sensitivity. We demonstrate that there are significant differences between the transcriptomes of viable and non-viable zygotes, especially in expression of genes important for oocyte maturation. In addition, we show that low-quality oocytes may undergo insufficient cortical granule release and zona-hardening, causing altered mechanics after fertilization. Our results suggest that embryo potential is largely determined by the quality and maturation of the oocyte before fertilization, and can be predicted through a minimally invasive mechanical measurement at the zygote stage.

PMID:
26904963
PMCID:
PMC4770082
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms10809
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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