Implantation failure and ovarian activation keep focusing IVI’s studies, in order to help our patients to achieve their dream. A total of three studies presented by IVI have received well-deserved distinction at the current edition of the Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI) Annual Meeting. The studies focus their research activity on ovarian activation and embryo development and implantation. These results in promising options for patients suffering from these conditions.
Research Activity as a Philosophy
IVI presented a total of 21 studies that received awards at the 69th edition of the SRI Annual Meeting, held between 15 and 19 March in Denver (Colorado). As we mentioned, three of them received special acknowledgement from the SRI scientific committee, due to their important contributions.
In view of the success, the Director of the IVI Foundation, Dr. Garrido, made a statement making it very clear why IVI is always at the forefront of innovation. “Our greatest motivation for research is to make discoveries that allow us to achieve the best results in order to offer patients the greatest guarantees in their assisted reproduction treatments. And for this to be acknowledged at the scientific congresses in which we participate, for our work and contributions to clinical practice in our sector to be recognised every year, is a real source of pride for us”.
Advances in Ovarian Activation
Sonia Herraiz, researcher at the IVI Foundation, coordinated one of the studies that was awarded a prize by committee. “Combination of Stem Cell Secreted and Platelet Enclosed Growth Factors Restores Ovarian Function in an Aging Mouse Model” shows the comparison of intraovarian injection of a plasma enriched in factors secreted by bone marrow stem cells and the factors in platelets with intraovarian injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
Dr. Herraiz talks to us about the breakthroughs of this discovery. “The main difference is that in this study we use a physiological ageing model. To do this, we obtained animals that, in some way, would mimic young patients, patients of advanced maternal age and patients over 45 years old. This way, we can observe whether in these 3 groups of patients any of these 2 alternatives, i.e. intraovarian injection of PRP or the combination of stem cell and platelet factors, would be an option to improve their reproductive capacity”.
With very encouraging results, the study has shown that injecting the combination of platelets and stem cell factors can improve follicle development. This is possible because ovarian vascularisation is regenerated. This allows more oocytes and higher quality embryos to be retrieved after ovarian stimulation. The most relevant aspect of this news is that this happens both in advanced maternal age groups, as well as in those similar to women over 45 years old.
Dr. Herraiz concludes: “These findings have earned us the ‘SRI President’s Plenary Awards’, which we are very proud to receive. It recognises four of the selected papers for their scientific interest, encouraging many young researchers to submit high-quality studies.
Implantation failure and the Role of Progesterone
“Deciphering the Role Of PGRMC2 In Decidualization and Trophoblast Invasion Using Primary In Vitro Models” describes for the first time the behaviour of a non-classical progesterone receptor (PGRMC2) in embryo implantation, earning the admiration and the award from the scientific committee.
Dr. Francisco Domínguez, coordinator of the study and researcher at the IVI Foundation, pointed to implantation failure as “one of the main causes of female infertility. Its process is, at present, not fully understood. For successful embryo implantation to occur, the human endometrium must create a receptive state in response to hormones such as progesterone. Analysis of this poorly understood hormone receptor (PGRMC2) will improve fertility rates in infertile women. And thus, develop new techniques to improve embryo implantation, leading to full-term pregnancies”.
Viability of Early Embryonic Development
The third of the studies awarded by the SRI was “Single cell transcriptome description of early development haploid androgenotes and parthenotes”. For the first time in humans, it has been possible to analyse early embryonic development at the transcriptomic level of uniparental haploid human embryos, which is an historic achievement.
“Given that in many countries around the world (including Spain) research on early embryo development with viable healthy human embryos is prohibited, uniparental embryos are a great solution to this problem”, said Dr Domínguez.
The maternal or paternal genetic part is the only constitution of a uniparental embryo. This means its use in research is allowed. This is because these embryos can in no way be viable and evolve. Likewise, uniparental embryos allow us to know with great precision what and how each gamete (maternal and paternal) contributes during the first stages of embryonic development – from oocyte fertilisation to the formation of the blastocyst, which takes place between days 5-7 of development.
With a view to future innovations, Dr. Domínguez stated the following: “Nowadays, early embryo development remains a field where many processes and/or factors that determine the future viability of the embryo remain unknown. These could prove key to a better understanding of this early embryonic stage. Studies like this one allow us to advance and shed light on how to ultimately optimise reproductive outcomes for patients.