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Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 1497–1501 | Cite as

Relationship between blastocoel cell-free DNA and day-5 blastocyst morphology

  • Kiersten Rule
  • Renee J. Chosed
  • T. Arthur Chang
  • J. David Wininger
  • William E. Roudebush
Technological Innovations
  • 80 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) which is present in the blastocoel cavity of embryos is believed to result from physiological apoptosis during development. This study assessed cfDNA content and caspase-3 protease activity in day-5 IVF blastocysts to determine if there was a correlation with embryo morphology.

Methods

Day-5 IVF blastocysts were scored according to the Gardner and Schoolcraft system (modified to generate a numerical value) and cfDNA was collected following laser-induced blastocoel collapsing prior to cryopreservation in 25 μL of media. cfDNA was quantified via fluorospectrometry and apoptotic activity was assessed via a caspase-3 protease assay using a fluorescent peptide substrate. Data were compared by linear regression.

Results

A total of 32 embryos were evaluated. There was a significant (p < 0.01) and positive correlation (cfDNA = 104.753 + (11.281 × score); R2 = 0.200) between embryo score and cfDNA content. A significant (p < 0.05) and positive correlation (cfDNA = 115.9 + (0.05 × caspase-3); R2= 0.128) was observed between caspase-3 activity and cfDNA levels. There was no significant relationship between caspase-3 activity and embryo morphology score.

Conclusions

This study provides further evidence that cfDNA is present in blastocoel fluid, can be quantified, and positively correlates with embryonic morphology. There is also evidence that at least a portion of the cfDNA present is from intracellular contents of embryonic cells that underwent apoptosis. Additional studies are warranted to determine other physiological sources of the cfDNA in blastocyst fluid and to determine the relationship with cfDNA content, embryo morphology, and chromosomal ploidy status plus implantation potential.

Keywords

Cell-free DNA Blastocyst Apoptosis Caspase-3 Morphology 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of South Carolina School of Medicine GreenvilleGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Premier FertilityHigh PointUSA
  4. 4.Atlantic Reproductive Medicine SpecialistsRaleighUSA

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