Assisted Reproductive Technologies routinely utilize different culture media and oxygen (O-2) concentrations to culture human embryos. Overall, embryos cultured under physiological O-2 tension (5%) have improved development compared to embryos cultured under atmospheric O-2 conditions (20%). The mechanisms responsible for this remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of physiologic (5%) or atmospheric O-2 (20%) tension on the microscopic ultrastructure of pre-implantation mouse embryos using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Embryos flushed out of the uterus after natural mating were used as the control. For use as the control, 2-cells, 4-cells, morulae, and blastocysts were flushed out of the uterus after natural fertilization. In vitro fertilization (IVF) was performed using potassium simplex optimized medium (KSOM) under different O-2 tensions (5% and 20%) until the blastocyst stage. After collection, embryos were subjected to the standard preparative for light microscopy (LM) and TEM. We found that culture in vitro under 5% and 20% O-2 results in an increase of vacuolated shaped mitochondria, cytoplasmic vacuolization and presence of multi-vesicular bodies at every embryonic stage. In addition, blastocysts generated by IVF under 5% and 20% O-2 showed a lower content of heterochromatin, an interruption of the trophectodermal and inner cell mass cell membranes, an increased density of residual bodies, and high levels of glycogen granules in the cytoplasm. In conclusion, this study suggests that in vitro culture, particularly under atmospheric O-2 tension, causes stage-specific changes in preimplantation embryo ultrastructure. In addition, atmospheric (20%) O-2 is associated with increased alterations in embryonic ultrastructure; these changes may explain the reduced embryonic development of embryos cultured with 20% O-2.

Pre-Implantation Mouse Embryos Cultured In Vitro under Different Oxygen Concentrations Show Altered Ultrastructures

Belli, Manuel;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Assisted Reproductive Technologies routinely utilize different culture media and oxygen (O-2) concentrations to culture human embryos. Overall, embryos cultured under physiological O-2 tension (5%) have improved development compared to embryos cultured under atmospheric O-2 conditions (20%). The mechanisms responsible for this remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of physiologic (5%) or atmospheric O-2 (20%) tension on the microscopic ultrastructure of pre-implantation mouse embryos using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Embryos flushed out of the uterus after natural mating were used as the control. For use as the control, 2-cells, 4-cells, morulae, and blastocysts were flushed out of the uterus after natural fertilization. In vitro fertilization (IVF) was performed using potassium simplex optimized medium (KSOM) under different O-2 tensions (5% and 20%) until the blastocyst stage. After collection, embryos were subjected to the standard preparative for light microscopy (LM) and TEM. We found that culture in vitro under 5% and 20% O-2 results in an increase of vacuolated shaped mitochondria, cytoplasmic vacuolization and presence of multi-vesicular bodies at every embryonic stage. In addition, blastocysts generated by IVF under 5% and 20% O-2 showed a lower content of heterochromatin, an interruption of the trophectodermal and inner cell mass cell membranes, an increased density of residual bodies, and high levels of glycogen granules in the cytoplasm. In conclusion, this study suggests that in vitro culture, particularly under atmospheric O-2 tension, causes stage-specific changes in preimplantation embryo ultrastructure. In addition, atmospheric (20%) O-2 is associated with increased alterations in embryonic ultrastructure; these changes may explain the reduced embryonic development of embryos cultured with 20% O-2.
2020
IVF
TEM
embryo
in vitro culture
oxygen concentration
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12078/15144
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