Epigenetic concerns in assisted reproduction update and critical review of the current literature

A review of epigenetics and ART.

Yoel Shufaro, M.D., Ph.D. and Neri Laufer, M.D.

Volume 99, Issue 3, Pages 605-606, 1 March 2013


Over four million children have been born through the use of human IVF- a technology that has emerged only thirty-five years ago and is still dynamically evolving. Despite its very good initial safety profile, reports of increased prevalence of human perinatal problems, and evidence obtained from animal experiments, raise concerns that the occurrence of epigenetic anomalies might be increased as a result of the infertility etiologies, ovarian stimulation and the extra corporeal handling and culture of gametes and embryos. This issue’s Views and Reviews aims to describe the basic mechanisms of epigenetics and to summarize the current knowledge obtained from animal experiments and human IVF practice, in order to shed light on the possible association between epigenetic disturbances and ART.

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