Science and Technology
publicado em 06/10/2011 às 19h59:00
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Biopsy genetics improves the effectiveness of human eggs in vitro fertilization

A new approach to extract information from the gene expression of fertile eggs in a noninvasive manner, without damaging them

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Researchers from Brown University in the United States have developed a method to extract information about the gene expression of human fertile eggs without damaging them. The approach could help doctors choose the egg with more probability of success for use in in vitro fertilization procedures (IVF).

For research, the team was able to sequence the genetic material transcribed, or mRNA, the compressed eggs in smaller structures called "polar bodies". By comparing the sequences of gene expression in polar bodies and eggs of the host, they were able to determine that the polar bodies provide a true reflection of the genetic activity of the eggs.

Scientists say they now can consider a polar body biopsy cytoplasmic natural.

Polar bodies are where eggs dispense with the second copy of the chromosomes that, unlike sex cells, they do not. But the polar bodies also capture a microcosm of the mRNA of the egg, the genetic material produced when the genes were transcribed and a cell is set to produce proteins based on these genetic instructions.

Pairs of genes <b> </ b>

Last year, the team became the first to find mRNA in human polar bodies. Now they transcribed 22 pairs of human eggs and their polar bodies and confirmed that what is in the polar body is a good proof of that is in eggs.

The team analyzed the samples in two groups of 10 cells each, for example, comparing the mRNA in 10 eggs with mRNA bound in 10 polar bodies. But to their surprise they were also able to sequence two individual eggs and their polar bodies directly.

What they found is that more than 14 000 genes can be expressed in eggs. Of these, over 90% of the genes detected in the polar bodies were also detected in the eggs and found 700 genes more abundant in the polar body, 460 were also among the most abundant in eggs.

<b> Clinical Applications </ b>

The researchers report that the polar body is able to reflect what is happening in the egg. "As the egg is the main driver of the first three days of human embryonic development, which we find in the polar body can give us a clue about what is happening during this time," explains co-author Sandra Carson.

But the researchers acknowledge that more research is needed to create a clinically useful tool.

Finding genes that affect the viability of the embryo is the next big step. With the new knowledge and techniques developed in the study, scientists can analyze the mRNA polar bodies of eggs that are fertilized and track the progress of the resulting embryos. Once key genes are known, they could create rapid tests to look for genes in polar bodies, so that doctors and patients can choose the best eggs.

A technology developed can also be used to choose which eggs should be saved for later use.

   Palavras-chave:   Biopsy genetics    IVF    Brown University    Fertile eggs    Sandra Carson   
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