Mitochondrial DNA content as a viability score in human euploid embryos Less is better

Capsule:
Higher mitochondrial DNA content in euploid human embryos is related to poor implantation potential and may be indicative of reduced metabolic fuel during oocyte maturation.

Authors:
Antonio Diez-Juan, Ph.D., Carmen Rubio, Ph.D., Carlos Marin, B.Sc., Sebastian Martinez, B.Sc., Nasser Al-Asmar, M.Sc., Marcia Riboldi, Ph.D., Patricia Díaz-Gimeno, Ph.D., Diana Valbuena, M.D., Ph.D., Carlos Simón, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 534-541

Abstract:

Objective:
To investigate the clinical relevance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content as a viability score in human euploid embryos.

Design:
Retrospective analysis of mtDNA content of transferred euploid embryos.

Setting:
Reproductive genetics laboratory.

Patient(s):
Single-embryo transfer in 270 patients who underwent preimplantation genetic screening (205 day-3 blastomere biopsies, and 65 day-5 trophectoderm biopsies), and 10 patients with double-embryo transfer (male-female).

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Normalized mtDNA content versus nuclear DNA (nDNA) from transferred euploid embryos.

Result(s):
A high mtDNA copy number in euploid embryos is indicative of lower embryo viability and implantation. Using the normalized mtDNA content, we created the mitochondrial score or Mitoscore (Ms). Day-3 embryos with <34 (MsA) had an implantation rate (IR) of 59% (n = 51); those with 34–52 (MsB) had an IR of 44% (n = 52); those with 52–97 (MsC) had an IR of 42% (n = 50); and those with >97 (MsD) had an IR of 25% (n = 52). Embryos with Ms >160 (n = 22) never implanted. Day-5 embryos with <18.19 (MsA) had an IR of 81%; those with 18.19–24.15 (MsB) had an IR of 50% (n = 16); those with 24.15–50.58 (MsC) had an IR of 62% (n = 16); and those with levels >50.58 (MsD) had an IR of 18% (n = 17). Embryos with levels >60 (n = 7) never implanted.

Conclusion(s):
An increased amount of mtDNA in euploid embryos is related to poor implantation potential and may be indicative of reduced metabolic fuel during oocyte maturation. We are implementing Ms in our preimplantation genetic screening platform to prospectively analyze its clinical relevance.

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