Polar body transfer restores the developmental potential of oocytes to blastocyst stage in a case of repeated embryo fragmentation

  • Shuo-Ping Zhang
  • Chang-Fu Lu
  • Fei Gong
  • Ping-Yuan Xie
  • Liang Hu
  • Shun-Ji Zhang
  • Guang-Xiu Lu
  • Ge Lin
Technological Innovations



We aimed to determine the developmental potential of human reconstructed oocytes after polar body genome transfer (PBT) and to report the case of a woman with multiple cycles of severe embryo fragmentation.


Fresh and cryopreserved first polar bodies (PB1s) were transferred to enucleated metaphase II oocytes (PB1T), while fresh PB2s were removed from fertilized oocytes and used instead of the female pronucleus in donor zygotes. Reconstructed oocytes underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and were cultured to blastocyst. Biopsied trophectoderm cells of PBT-derived blastocysts were screened for chromosomes by next-generation sequencing (NGS). Then, cryopreserved PB1T was carried out in one woman with a history of several cycles of extensive embryo fragmentation, and the blastocysts derived from PB1T were screened for aneuploidy but not transferred to the patient.


There were no significant differences in the rates of normal fertilization and blastocyst formation between fresh and cryopreserved PB1T and control oocytes. Of the three fresh and three cryopreserved PB1T-derived blastocysts, two and one blastocysts exhibited normal diploidy respectively. In contrast, 17 PB2 transfers yielded 16 two pronuclei (2PN) zygotes with one normal and one small-sized pronucleus each and no blastocyst formation. In the female patient, 18 oocytes were inseminated by ICSI in the fourth cycle and the PB1s were biopsied. Although the embryos developed from the patient’s own oocytes showed severe fragmentation, the oocytes reconstructed after PB1T produced three chromosomally normal blastocysts.


Normal blastocysts can develop from human reconstructed oocytes after PB1T. The application of the first PB transfers may be beneficial to patients with a history of poor embryo development and excessive fragmentation.


Polar body transfer Blastocyst Embryo fragmentation Assisted reproductive technique 



This study is supported by grants from the Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (No. 2012CB944901), the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81222007 and 81471510), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Reproductive and Genetic Hospital of CITIC-Xiangya (reference LL-SC-SG-2015-004).

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuo-Ping Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chang-Fu Lu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fei Gong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ping-Yuan Xie
    • 1
    • 4
  • Liang Hu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Shun-Ji Zhang
    • 2
  • Guang-Xiu Lu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ge Lin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Reproductive and Stem Cell EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Reproductive and Genetic Hospital of CITIC-XiangyaChangshaChina
  3. 3.Key laboratory of Reproductive and Stem Cell EngineeringMinistry of HealthChangshaChina
  4. 4.National Engineering and Research Center of Human Stem CellChangshaChina

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